A fairly quiet week in terms of weather systems left few changes on the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday.
Some rains did move through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this week, resulting in a widespread alleviation of Moderate Drought and Abnormal Dryness in a wide area from southern Virginia up through New York.
The rains largely missed the Southeast, resulting in slight expansion of Abnormal Dryness around in Georgia. This area is starting to see low streamflow values despite near-normal soil moisture, drought map author Michael Brewer of NOAA noted.
Farmers continued to battle damp fields in parts of the Midwest following a rainy period early in the month. No drought or very minimal drought is recorded in Iowa, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
Minnesota, however, has been experiencing mounting dryness in some small sections. This week, areas of north and central Minnesota reached criteria for Abnormal Dryness.
Farmers continue to make progress on corn and soy harvest in the Midwest; corn harvest advanced to 31% as of Sunday and soybean harvest went to 53%, but are behind the five-year averages of 53% and 66%, according to the USDA.
Heavy rain over the Plains earlier in the month improved drought conditions there, but this week was relatively dry. Tiny sections of eastern Kansas saw improvement.
Topsoil moisture in the state slipped a little to 5% surplus, 70% adequate, 20% short and 5% very short from the previous week's 9% surplus, 66% adequate, 20% short and 5% very short, USDA said Monday.
In Texas, the central region and areas of the panhandle have missed the beneficial rains, leading to some degradation.
Moisture fell in areas of the extreme Southwest and in the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest, however. As a result, areas of Moderate and Severe Drought were reduced in southwest New Mexico.
Likewise the area of Extreme Drought was reduced in the northeast part of the state.There are numerous reports of improvement in pasture and grassland conditions but longer-term deficits remain over much of the state, resulting in conservative improvements. The same is true in the Pacific Northwest, Brewer notes.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor