Drought carries over into August

A state climatologist says drought is improving in portions of the Corn Belt and worsening in others as August begins.

Brian Fuchs with the National Drought Mitigation Center tells Brownfield the U.S. Drought Monitor shows improved dryness on in the Eastern Corn Belt in the last week.

“Some pretty significant rains came through southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois through much of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio,” he says. “They were only dealing with some moderate drought through a lot of those areas and we were able to see improvements this week.”

Fuchs says there were noticeable improvements on the map in north-central Nebraska.

“Much of the improvement in Nebraska is from the pattern change in the last month. We have finally have seen some consistent rains in that part and we were able to start whittling away at some of those drought intensities,” says Fuchs. “Even though there drought remains in some of those areas, at least the intensities aren’t as severe.”

Missouri also saw slight improvements in dry conditions in the last week and Fuchs says the state could see more in the next week with this week’s heavy rains.

“Missouri had a substantial amount of rainfall. There are flood watches and warnings out across the state and I’m anticipating seeing more improvements in Missouri the next few weeks.”

He says in the Upper Midwest and Plains, the dryness has not improved much.

“From eastern Iowa, parts of Minnesota and up into North Dakota, this area has been missing out on the rains. Coupled with heat over the last few weeks, we’ve seen conditions change quite a bit.”

Fuchs says it will take a pattern change to break the drought and with more rain in the forecast it’s possible that change is starting to happen.     

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