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Snow takes small bite out of drought

The ground is snow-covered in a good portion of the Corn Belt right now, and the moisture from that snow has taken the drought at least a small step in the right direction.

Thursday's update of the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a small improvement in the dryness that's gripped about the middle third of the nation over the last year; conditions changed just slightly nationwide, but several spots around the Corn Belt, including central Iowa, southwestern Ohio, and northwestern Illinois saw dips in the drought pressure.


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Though the snow will eventually chip in more help on the drought front, it will be some time before the its full measure is known. Temperatures as far south as the southern tip of Illinois will struggle to climb out of the freezer for much more than a few sporadic hours in the next few days, making the melting process a slow one.

"Most of this snow covering southeast Missouri and southern Illinois is not yet helping the Mississippi water levels between St. Louis and Cairo at this time," says Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. senior ag meteorologist Craig Solberg. "Daytime temperatures across extreme southern Illinois could warm to above freezing during the day this weekend, but overnight lows are forecast to drop below freezing, so melting should be slow for a while."

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