The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows a modest retreat in the amount of the U.S. covered by some form of dryness—“just” 59.29% of the U.S. was covered in drought as of Feb. 20, a 1.21-point retreat from the week prior.
Spotty improvement occurred in eastern and southern areas of the Corn Belt as well as in far western areas of Texas. But drought intensified in northeast Kansas. Virtually all of the state is covered by some form of drought or dryness, with the moderate (D1) drought category seeing a 10-point increase from last week to 34.71%.
Oklahoma saw no change in drought coverage or intensity over the past week, with all of the state covered by some form of drought and a worrisome 88.9% of the state dealing with severe (D2) to extreme (D3) drought.
Texas is faring the best of the Southern Plains winter wheat states, with 88.10% covered by some form of drought, a 1.64-point improvement from last week. The bulk of the dryness is classified as moderate to severe, but a good portion of the Texas Panhandle is dealing with extreme drought conditions.