Drought concerns remain in Missouri

The state climatologist at the University of Missouri Extension says drought concerns are on the rise again even with some improvements over the winter.

“It’s not uncommon in Missouri to see these multi-year drought events. We’ve already had two back-to-back drought years.” And Zach Leasor says “Missouri might be headed into its third year of drought.

Missouri had the warmest and driest February on record this year and Leasor says March has a similar pattern of warm and dry.

“Conditions are pretty variable around the state, but we’re much drier this spring than we were this time last year.”

Leasor says there’s rain in the forecast with many areas expected to get at least one inch of moisture over the next week, but “it’s a little late to be getting more rain into those soils ahead of planting, but we’ll take moisture late as opposed to never.”

He says temperatures will turn colder than normal after the rain moves through with the last frost and freeze expected on time, in early April.

Leasor says it’s unclear what the weather will be like for the upcoming growing season, but a transition from El Nino to La Nina is expected around June and La Nina’s can bring warm and dry conditions.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 89% of Missouri experiencing dry conditions with nearly 4% in severe drought.

Brownfield interviewed Leasor at Missouri Soybean’s Cover Crop Field Day in mid-Missouri.

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