Drought worsens in Upper Midwest
“Warm and dry conditions dominated the West while the southern Plains and South recorded the most precipitation for the week as well as cooler than normal temperatures,” according to today’s National Drought Summary.
The reporting period ending June 8 did not account for the full extent of this week’s rains on the Northern Plains. Nevertheless, today’s update showed some improvement to severe and extreme drought in southwest North Dakota and northwest South Dakota given recent moisture. But drought expanded and intensified in southeast South Dakota and into northeast Nebraska. “Temperatures were well above normal in the Dakotas where widespread areas of 12-15 degrees above normal were observed, with several places over 100 degrees F,” according to today’s update.
Unusually warm weather also stretched into the northern Midwest, where it contrasted with cool conditions in Missouri and Illinois. Very little rain fell in the upper Midwest over the past week, resulting in the expansion and intensification of drought in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Michigan also saw dryness/drought expand, as did northern areas of Illinois and Indiana.
Of particular note, 89.0% of Iowa is now impacted by abnormal dryness or drought, a 26.8-point surge from the week prior. And 56.7% of the state is dealing with moderate to severe drought. All of Minnesota is impacted by abnormal dryness/drought, with the main southern producing region the hardest hit.
Conditions on the Southern Plains have flipped over the past few weeks from one of drought to ample precipitation, with cool temperatures helping to limit evaporation. Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are now largely free of drought or dryness.