Spotty rains fell in the Midwest over the past week, which was enough to keep drought conditions from degrading, but also not enough to improve the 20% of the region dealing with abnormal dryness or drought, according to today’s National Drought Monitor. Dryness in the region is largely isolated to Missouri, Wisconsin and northern Minnesota.
On the other hand, dry weather continued for northwest and southwest regions of North Dakota, which has seen precipitation over the past two months less than 30% of normal. This led to the expansion of moderate and severe drought in the areas.
The Drought Monitor also notes that an area of severe drought was introduced in western South Dakota this week. “Local reports indicate that many crops have been cut for feed due to drought and winter wheat planting is starting out dry. The fields left standing have low expected yields,” according to the report. Drought also expanded in north-central and northeastern areas of the state, with impacts including “early chopping of corn for silage instead of growing for grain harvest, low corn and soybean yields and test weights, and early harvest due to drought,” according to the monitor.
Warm temperatures and fairly dry weather led to some drought deterioration in eastern Kansas over the past week, with Colorado still dealing with pronounced dryness.
An area of low pressure over the western Gulf of Mexico brought some heavy and widespread rainfall to Texas and Louisiana, leading to widespread one-category improvements across southern and eastern areas of the Lone Start State. But the rain did not reach into western and northern areas of Texas, leading to slight drought expansion.