Drought Worsens on the Plains

Posted on Thu, 11/19/2020 - 11:52

Today’s National Drought Monitor reflects widespread deterioration in drought conditions across the central and southern Plains and some easing of dry areas in the Midwest. Today’s update notes that around half an inch of rain (with some local amounts of 2 inches) “dampened most of a large area from eastern sections of the central and northern Great Plains eastward through the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes Region, Appalachians, and Atlantic Coast States,” with the summary adding that similar amounts fell on lower elevations of the northern Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest.

“In stark contrast,” the monitor says, “conditions deteriorated through most of central and eastern Texas, parts of the central Great Plains, the southern High Plains, and the central tier of the Four Corners States. As the period ended, dryness had persisted or worsened throughout the large area of entrenched drought from the Rockies westward, and dry conditions were intensifying quickly across Texas and the central Plains.”

Moderate to severe drought persists in North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, with conditions deteriorating across much of the latter state last week.

Moderate precipitation fell across most of the Midwest the week ending Nov. 17, whittling dryness and drought coverage from last week, “especially across eastern Minnesota, central Iowa, southwestern Missouri, and a stripe across southern Illinois and central Indiana,” today’s Drought Summary noted. It also pointed out that over the past three months, precipitation has been 4 to 7 inches less than normal for western Indiana, central Illinois and the northern half of Illinois. Western and northern areas of Iowa continue to deal with abnormal dryness/drought, with a pocket of extreme drought in the northwest corner of the state.

Drought Monitor

Drought change map