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Dryness expands in Iowa, Drought Monitor shows

Dry weather is expected to continue in the five-day forecast.

While last week’s broad-based storm improved precipitation shortfalls in the remaining U.S. drought areas, seasonal deficits are still present, according to this week’s Drought Monitor report.

Midwest

“Dry weather occurred across most of the Upper Midwest adding to existing precipitation deficits and drying soils. Moderate drought and/or abnormal dryness expanded across parts of Iowa, eastern Wisconsin, and Michigan. Located along the outer edges of last week’s heavy rain band, southern Missouri and southern Michigan saw improvements,” Drought Monitor officials stated in this week’s report.

Drought monitor

High Plains

Last week’s snow brought widespread improvements to eastern Colorado including areas of severe and extreme drought, according to the Drought Monitor report.

“The recent event, combined with above-average January snowfall, has left a large swath of snow on the ground and improved soil moisture conditions. The remainder of the region saw another week of dry weather. Wyoming saw an expansion of drought in the north and west parts of the state as recent warm, dry weather, chipped away at seasonal snowpack. Nebraska and Kansas saw a broad expansion of moderate drought and abnormal dryness. Here, 30- to 90-day precipitation totals rank in the five driest on record. Fires on the rise in these areas, and burn bans are going into effect,” Drought Monitor officials stated.

Looking Ahead

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center forecast for the period of February 10-15 calls for relatively dry weather over much of the Lower 48.

“A pair of storms systems are expected to bring snow to the Upper Midwest and Northeast. Much of the continental U.S. will see above-normal temperatures through the weekend. Moving into next week, the Climate Prediction Center (valid February 15-19) Outlooks favor above-normal precipitation from the Desert Southwest northeast to the Canadian border. Drier weather is favored for the northern Plains and much of the west. Temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal in the West Coast states, the central and northern Great Plains, and across much of the Lower Midwest and Southeast,” Drought Monitor officials stated Thursday.

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