Recent Precipitation Limited Drought Degradation on the Plains

Posted on Thu, 12/31/2020 - 08:31

Today’s National Drought Monitor reflects some intensifying of drought in Missouri and Arkansas, the eastern Corn Belt, along the border of North Dakota and Montana and little change elsewhere. The monitor reports that precipitation fell across most of the U.S. the week ending Dec. 29, maintaining the status-quo from the Great Basin eastward to the Great Plains.

The monitor says, “In the Northern Plains, snowpack remains well below-normal, leading to some minor degradation in areas where temperatures averaged above freezing and winds were gusty. Elsewhere, the time of year has minimized degradation of drought in many locations, with low temperatures, little or no evapotranspiration, and frozen ground (upper Midwest and Great Plains).”

Today’s update reflected a 2.1-point rise in the area impacted by abnormal dryness or drought for the Midwest, with 44.0% of the area now affected. Nearly all (96.2%) of the High Plains are affected by drought and there was no week-to-week shift in intensity categories. Today’s update shows 86.1% of the South is impacted by drought, a 3.3-point rise from the week prior as drought worsened in far southern Texas and Arkansas.

Drought Monitor for the week ending Dec. 28

Drought change map