SEMO Drought Expansion Eclipses Improvement In Northeast

Several areas of Southern Missouri emerged from this week’s solar eclipse feeling a bit more parched than the previous week.  The recent U.S. Drought Monitor shows severe drought entering Reynolds, northern Carter, eastern Shannon, and northern Wayne counties, while moderate drought pressed south into the Bootheel.  Elsewhere, a portion of central Barry and eastern McDonald counties also entered moderate drought while Christian, Stone and Taney counties are now in abnormal dryness.

Worsening conditions to the south more than offset improvements in Northeast Missouri.  Adair, Knox, western Lewis, eastern Linn, northern and western Macon, and central Ralls counties were upgraded to abnormal dryness, while eastern Audrain and northern Pike counties joined northern St Louis County and parts of St Charles County in returning to normal moisture levels.  Northern Jefferson County also enjoyed an upgrade from moderate drought to abnormal dryness.

Six percent of Missouri is now in severe drought, more than double last week’s figure.  Another 26.1 percent of the state is in moderate drought.  With 35.6 percent of the state in abnormal dryness, the area of Missouri with normal or excess moisture decreased 1.2 percentage points from last week to 32.3 percent.