Even With Multiple Showers, Majority Of Missouri Still In Severe Or Worse Drought

Multiple showers and thunderstorms rolled across Missouri in the past week, but overall they provided modest relief from drought conditions.  This week’s update to the US Drought Monitor still has a majority of Missouri—51.1 percent—in severe or worse drought.  That includes 2.2 percent of the state in exceptional drought, consisting of southern Cole, northern Miller, southern Moniteau, a majority of Morgan, southern Pettis, and east-central Johnson counties.  Several eastern counties including Callaway, Montgomery, Ste Genevieve and Warren were upgraded from extreme to severe drought.  However, extreme drought expanded in two parts of Northeast Missouri.  The northern halves of Howard and Saline, along with Carroll and southern Chariton fell into this category, as did a majority of Adair, western Knox, northern Linn, northern Macon, and southeastern Sullivan counties.  Southern Schuyler and western Scotland counties also descended into this third stage of drought.

The most significant improvement was in southwest Missouri, where Douglas, Ozark, Wright, central Webster, and western Texas counties returned to normal dryness.  Extreme drought is no longer present in Dallas, Laclede or Polk counties, but did dip into the northwestern corner of Dade County.  Portions of ten counties saw an upgrade from moderate drought to abnormal dryness; however, western Shannon and eastern Texas counties slipped into moderate drought.  In the eastern part of the state, Franklin County saw an upgrade from severe to moderate drought, with a crescent-shaped area in the southwestern part of the county, stretching into Gasconade and northern Crawford counties, upgraded further into abnormal dryness.  Nine other counties also had upgrades to moderate from severe drought; however, a majority of Madison County fell into severe drought.  Improvement also occurred around the Kansas City metro, where a majority of Clay and southwestern corner of Clinton counties are now in post-drought condition, while most of Jackson and western Lafayette counties were upgraded to moderate drought.

Close to 79 percent of Missouri is in some stage of drought this week, with another 16.4 percent in abnormal dryness.