More yellow and orange is on the map this week for Missouri, and it’s not the leaves changing colors. This week’s US Drought Monitor has over 59 percent of the state in some stage of drought, a jump of over four points from last week. While areas in extreme drought are unchanged at nine percent, severe drought expanded into the rest of Lewis County. Moderate drought has made its way into Kansas City’s Northland, now impacting all of Buchanan, Clay, Clinton and Platte counties. Ripley, western Butler, and southern Oregon counties in Southeast Missouri also fell into moderate drought, while abnormal dryness is now reported in Cape Girardeau, Mississippi, eastern Bollinger, and eastern New Madrid counties. Pre-drought conditions also spread into Holt County, now leaving all of Missouri north of the Missouri River in some stage of dryness.
Just 14.6 percent of Missouri is not in drought or abnormal dryness. Portions of 17 counties in Southwest Missouri, along with the Arcadia Valley’s Iron, Madison, and portions of surrounding counties, remain spared from drought.