Drought Lessens Across Northern, Western Missouri

Drought conditions loosened across several portions of Northern and Western Missouri over Christmas as precipitation made its way into the state for the holiday.  The weekly US Drought Monitor indicated one-step upgrades for most areas along and west of Route 13 as of Tuesday, lifting Gentry, northern Andrew, southern Nodaway and western Platte counties into moderate drought from severe in Northwest Missouri.  Similar upgrades were also noted in Bates, Benton, Cedar, Henry, Johnson, St Clair, Saline, western Hickory, western Morgan, and the neighboring edges of Pettis counties.  A patch of extreme drought in southwestern Cole, northern Miller and southeastern Moniteau counties was upgraded to severe, while all or part of 27 counties exited moderate drought.  All or part of 13 counties are no longer abnormally dry.  Two areas of improvement occurred east of U.S. Route 63, as Audrain, Macon, southeastern Adair, southwestern Clark, northern Knox, western Monroe, southeastern Scotland, and southwestern Shelby counties all improved to moderate drought.

72.1 percent of Missouri remains in some stage of drought, an 11.7-point improvement from last week.  1.1 percent of the state is still in extreme drought, while another 29.1 percent of the state is in severe drought.  About 6.7 percent of the state has normal or excess moisture reported.