Drought conditions have remained nearly steady within the past week, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday.
The Drought Monitor reports that many regions have seen minimal precipitation, though monsoon rains in the Southwest continue to fall.
The Midwest has been continually dry for the past several weeks, and last week was no exception. Localized showers fell on west-central Illinois; most other areas were dry. High temperatures have exacerbated the lack of rain across Missouri, Iowa and northern Illinois. Indiana and Minnesota also have experienced little rainfall and subsequent limited soil moisture.
For example, since July 1, La Crosse, Wis., has received only 2.40 inches of rain, the driest ever July 1-Sept. 10 period. The previous record was 2.52 inches, set in 1948.
The lower Mississippi Valley also saw higher temps and lower rainfall. One-category degradations were noted across the region.
In the Southern Great Plains and Southwest, dryness continues. Minimal changes were made to Texas and Oklahoma, but into the Southwest monsoon rains improved drought conditions.
Widespread 2-4 inch rains were reported across the region, especially in Arizona. One-category upgrades were rendered to the Arizona depiction where approximately 2 inches or more of rain fell. Drought Monitor staff will reassess moisture deficits more thoroughly next week.
Beneficial moisture also worked its way into western and north-central Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming, allowing for one-category improvements, the Monitor reports.
The Northeast this week, though relatively drought-free for the past several months, is beginning to experience drier conditions. This has prompted the introduction of abnormal dryness across central Maryland, southwestern Connecticut, and Long Island, N.Y. Streams and rivers are also running low, especially in central Maryland.
For the remainder of the week, more rainfall is expected over New Mexico, Colorado, western Kansas and far southern Texas. Light rains will appear in the Midwest.
Some showers have already moved through Iowa, Illinois and Indiana Thursday. Heavy rains fell across Colorado and New Mexico – effects of that precipitation will be evaluated in next week's Drought Monitor.