Steady rains from the past two weeks, along with below-average temperatures, led to notable improvements in Central Missouri in this week’s US Drought Monitor, including a reprieve from exceptional drought. However, there’s no such reprieve for North Central Missouri, as the region didn’t get much of the beneficial conditions, resulting in the update’s most significant downgrades. Chariton and Linn counties, along with eastern Livingston and southeastern Grundy counties, have fallen into extreme drought. Northeastern Adair County also dropped to extreme drought in the past week. Several parcels along the Mississippi River in Lincoln, Pike, and St Charles counties are back in moderate drought this week.
The weekly update also shows an upgrade from extreme to severe drought for most of Benton, Camden, Hickory, Maries, Miller, Phelps, Pulaski and the eastern halves of Henry and St Clair counties. Southeast Missouri also saw several areas of improvement, with severe drought now limited to a majority of Madison County, along with pockets of Iron, St François and Washington counties in the Lead Belt and Scott, Stoddard, northern New Madrid and northeastern Butler counties further to the south. Northern Washington and southern Franklin counties, along with Perry, northernmost Bollinger and northwestern Cape Girardeau counties, improved to post-drought conditions. Two areas of Mississippi County along the river, are now in abnormal drought. While the southern edges of Dunklin and Pemiscot counties are out of abnormal dryness, the northern halves of those counties slipped back into moderate drought.
In total, Missouri has 78.4 percent of the state in some stage of drought, a 0.6 percent improvement from last week. Just over a fifth of the state is in extreme drought, while 16.6 percent are in abnormal dryness.