Streaks of Improvement Across Northern Missouri, But Extreme Drought Presses South

Extreme weather last week helped to dent extreme drought conditions in parts of Northern Missouri, but conditions continued to worsen across the southern half of the state.  The weekly US Drought Monitor showed upgrades in drought conditions along much of the Iowa border, including Atchison, central Gentry, northern Nodaway and northern Holt counties exiting moderate drought.  Mercer County along with northern Harrison County were upgraded to moderate from severe, while Adair, Putnam, most of Clark, Knox and Scotland, and southern Schuyler counties returned to severe drought from extreme.  St Louis City returned to normal moisture levels, while much of St Louis County along with eastern and central St Charles County entered post-drought condition.

While some improvements occurred north of Interstate 70, southern Missouri witnessed a continued slide into lower levels of drought.  A majority of Vernon County and northern Barton returned to the third stage of drought, as did Cedar, most of Dallas and Maries, and the northern halves of Laclede, Polk, and Pulaski counties.  Northwestern Phelps County also descended into extreme drought, as did St François, Ste Genevieve, and western Perry counties.  Areas of normal moisture are now limited to central Douglas, northeastern Taney, and northern Ozark counties.  They, along with St Louis, account for just 1.24 percent of Missouri not experiencing drought or abnormal dryness.

Over 80 percent of Missouri is now in some stage of drought, including 24.3 percent in extreme drought.  Another 29.8 percent is in severe drought.