Rains improve MO drought conditions

The state climatologist with University of Missouri Extension says widespread rains continue to improve Missouri’s drought conditions.

“Especially in a band from northwest to the southeast part of the state and some of those locations where one foot of rain fell at the beginning of August, we’ve seen almost a two category improvement on the U.S. Drought Monitor,” says Zach Leasor.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says 63% of Missouri remains in moderate drought or worse conditions compared to 77% the previous week.

He tells Brownfield soil moisture is slowly getting better, but there’s still a long way to go before it is fully replenished and the multi-year drought is part of the slow down.

“We could really use more rainfall. In fact, nine counties have actually had their top five driest 12-month stretch on record, going back to last August,” he says. “The worst has been Shelby County, up in northeast Missouri. It’s the second driest 12-month stretch going back to 1895.”

He says the county is 14.6 inches below normal for rainfall. But he is hopeful the fall will follow a traditional El Nino style with cooler, wetter conditions for the state.

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