Drought continues to strengthen across Missouri, with the percentage of the state in extreme drought nearly doubling in the past week. The latest US Drought Monitor shows the state’s two patches of extreme drought expanding, more notably in Northeast Missouri. There, the third stage of drought conditions have expanded west into nearly all of Putnam County and south into Marion, Shelby, and northern Ralls counties. The extreme drought patch in Central Missouri pressed west into Henry County and south into the rest of Benton and Morgan Counties, as well as northern Miller. Areas of northern Gasconade, southern Montgomery, and western Warren counties also descended into extreme drought.
Severe drought also expanded westward, with Route 13 now serving as its western boundary north from Warrensburg. Two bands of severe drought also stretched southward, with areas of Barton, Cedar, and Vernon counties in the southwest and southern Jefferson, eastern St François, and western Ste Genevieve counties in the southeast. Moderate drought also advanced, now bound in Northwest Missouri by Route 71 to the west, and southern Missouri by a line stretching from Webb City east to Bolivar, Lebanon, and the northern border of Dent County, then arcing east and south through Iron County before splitting Wayne and Butler counties in half.
Only two areas of improvement were noted. Columbia along with central Boone County were upgraded to severe drought, while southwestern Dunklin, eastern New Madrid, and southern Mississippi counties returned to abnormal dryness.
In total, 70.3 percent of Missouri is in some stage of drought, including 15.7 percent in extreme drought. Another 27.6 percent of the state is in severe drought. Just 6.7 percent of Missouri remains in normal condition, including southwestern Buchanan and northwestern Platte counties in northwest Missouri, and an area of southwest Missouri including a majority of Christian, Douglas, Greene, Lawrence, Ozark, Texas, Wright, southern Webster, northern Stone, and northeastern Taney counties.