Drought still spreading in northern and western areas of the Corn Belt
Today’s National Drought Monitor showed rains through July 6 have done little to ease drought in the western Corn Belt. “Another week of hot, dry weather in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, Northern Plains, and Upper Midwest led to the expansion of drought conditions,” today’s update says.
Drought expanded in Minnesota and Iowa as temperatures climbed 6 to 9 degrees above normal and rainfall was light or below normal. “Rainfall deficits of 4 to 10 inches are present over the last 90 days,” today’s summary notes. On the other hand, a slow-moving cold front helped ease dryness in the Great Lakes region and eastern United States. Wet weather continued for much of the lower Midwest, leaving that region largely free of drought.
Another hot, dry week and some isolated showers resulted in a mix of degradation and improvement for the High Plains. Drought expanded in parts of Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska that missed out on the heaviest rainfall. Rains did help to ease long-term drought in northern and central areas of North Dakota as well as in Wyoming and eastern Nebraska. But 100% of North Dakota is dealing with some form of drought, 92% of which is classified as severe or worse.
Meanwhile, monsoon thunderstorms brought wet weather to eastern New Mexico and West Texas resulted in large one-category improvements. All but western areas of the Lone Star state are virtually free of drought.