Exceptional drought is no longer present in Southwest Missouri, but areas of extreme drought have rapidly developed in parts of Southeast Missouri. This week’s US Drought Monitor showed several areas of improvement across western Missouri, including relief from the worst drought conditions previously over Barton, Jasper, and western Newton counties. Areas of 19 counties received upgrades from extreme to severe drought, while a majority of Benton, Christian, Douglas, Henry, Stone, Wright, and parts of surrounding counties exited drought conditions but remain abnormally dry.
While Southwest and West Central Missouri enjoyed improvements, conditions Southeast Missouri continues spiraling lower. Mississippi, New Madrid, Scott and Stoddard counties entered extreme drought this week, along with southern Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties. Much of the surrounding region slipped into severe drought, and parts of Crawford, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, Reynolds, St François, and Washington counties entered moderate drought. Northwest Missouri saw one change this week, with Atchison and western Holt counties falling from moderate to severe drought.
The resulting changes now have 10.25 percent of Missouri’s land area in extreme drought, 32 percent in severe drought, and 36.5 percent in moderate drought. The remaining 21.5 percent is in abnormal dryness.