Drought Footprint Virtually Unchanged

Posted on 08/09/2018 8:32 AM

There was very little change in the drought footprint across the contiguous U.S. over the past week. As of Aug. 7, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 54.08% of the continental U.S. was covered by some form of dryness/drought, down slightly from 54.42% the previous week, though that was the highest since late February. Exceptional drought (the highest category) covers only 1.62% of the country.

The Midwest (defined by the Drought Monitor as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky), is 36.98% covered by some form of dryness/drought, up slightly from 35.62% the previous week. Conditions are the worst in Missouri, which is nearly 98% covered by some form of dryness/drought, up from nearly 95% last week. Nearly 20% of Missouri is covered by extreme and exceptional drought, primarily in the northern part of the state. The bottom third of Iowa is dry, with far southeastern and south-central areas the driest. Michigan is two-thirds covered by some form of dryness/drought. The rest of the Midwest has just small pockets of dryness, according to the Drought Monitor.

The Southern Plains remain largely engulfed by dryness. In Texas, 78.45% of the state is facing some form of dryness/drought, which is up just a fraction from last week. Oklahoma is roughly three-quarters covered by dryness, down around two points from the prior week. Kansas’ drought footprint shrunk to 64% from nearly 72% last week.

Click here to view the U.S. Drought Monitor map. 

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