Today’s National Drought Monitor reflected additional improvement in the drought footprint across the Plains and into the Midwest. Texas, Kansas and Missouri all registered notable improvement the week ending Oct. 16 thanks to heavy rain from Texas northeastward into the mid-Mississippi Valley. The Monitor also notes that the wet weather continued across the southern U.S. after the reporting period ended.
Just 9.7% of Texas is now dealing with some form of drought/dryness, a dramatic 20.9-point drop from the week prior. Nine percent of Oklahoma is still affected by drought/dryness, nearly a 3.0-point decline from the week before. And just 8.6% of Kansas is dealing with abnormal dryness to moderate drought versus 11.5% last week.
Colorado remains a problem area, however, with 83.4% of the state still dealing with dryness or drought, unchanged from week-ago. Nearly half of those dry areas fall in the extreme to exceptional drought categories.
Drought continues to ease in the Dakotas, with 63.6% of North Dakota and 23.4% of South Dakota still dealing with dryness/drought.
The Midwest is nearly free of drought, with just 6.6% of the area garnering any sort of drought classification and the bulk of that falling in the least extreme abnormal dryness category.
And rain and snow eased drought and snarled harvest efforts in the upper Midwest, easing drought in the Dakotas and into northern Minnesota.