Dryness and drought spread across much of the contiguous 48 states over the past week, with relief limited to areas of the Southeast, according to today’s National Drought Monitor update. The most notable expansion was in the southern half of the Great Plains and across the Midwest and lower Ohio Valley, where hot and dry weather brought “significant” expansion of abnormally dry conditions.
For the Midwest, specifically, the monitor notes that “Generally 0.5 to 2.0 inches of rain fell last week on central and southern Wisconsin, but most of the region recorded only a few tenths of an inch, if any. The last 30 days brought only 10% to 50% of normal rainfall to most areas from central Iowa through east-central Illinois and part of western Indiana, with the largest deficits affecting a swath from east-central Iowa southeastward through central Illinois. Abnormal dryness was expanded extensively to cover this region, plus sections of southwestern Ohio, northeastern Kentucky, and southern Indiana, where rainfall has been slightly more generous. Since early June, 40% to 75% of normal rain has been recorded in central and eastern Iowa and adjacent Illinois.”
Patches of abnormal dryness persist in and near the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northeastern Minnesota and southeastern Michigan. While drought is not yet present in the Midwest, the aforementioned areas of Iowa and Illinois are nearing D1 (moderate drought) territory.
Today’s update shows 36% of Iowa is dealing with abnormal dryness, along with 43% of Illinois and 34% of Indiana.