Weather over the past week was very variable over the eastern two-thirds of the country, which is pretty unusual. The National Drought Monitor summary reports heavy rains fell on the High Plains and from the Texas Panhandle and central Oklahoma northward, but rainfall was spotty in central Montana. On the other hand, the Midwest trended dry, which led to further expansion of abnormal dryness in the region and the introduction of a few areas of moderate drought.
The Drought Monitor details, “Several patches [of moderate drought] were brought in to central and eastern Iowa, and adjacent Illinois, along with smaller, more-isolated regions in eastern Illinois and northern Indiana. Meanwhile, abnormal dryness stretched to cover most areas from central Iowa eastward to central Indiana and southwestern Michigan, plus portions of southwestern Ohio, southern Indiana and adjacent Kentucky, sections of northern and eastern Michigan, and northeastern Minnesota.”
A broad strip from central Iowa through western Indiana along with east-central Michigan and the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula received just 0.5 to 2.0 inches of rain over the past month, the Monitor continues.
Twenty-two percent of the Midwest is now covered in abnormal dryness or moderate drought, a six-point gain from last week. But just shy of 2% of that falls in the latter classification. But much of that dryness/drought does fall in the top two corn and soybean producing states of Iowa and Illinois. Nearly 53% of Iowa is covered in abnormal dryness or drought and 44% of Illinois.