The past month’s excessive heat and inconsistent rains have sent more of Western Missouri back into extreme drought. The weekly update from the US Drought Monitor has returned Bates, Cooper, eastern Cass, northwestern Johnson, central Pettis, and eastern Saline counties to extreme drought. The third stage of drought conditions now covers 8.5 percent of the state. Severe drought ballooned in the past week around the Lake of the Ozarks, spreading east to western Osage County as well as western Camden, northern Dallas, and northern Miller counties. Central Putnam County also dropped from moderate to severe drought this week. While 53 percent of Missouri remain in some stage of drought, just over a quarter of the state is now in severe or extreme drought.
Abnormal dryness also expanded east last week, covering St Louis City and County south of Route 40, along with Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, and northern Washington counties. 24.9 percent of Missouri is in abnormal dryness, leaving just 22.1 percent with normal or excess moisture.