Expanded dryness intensifies drought, U.S. Drought Monitor report shows
The continued dryness expanded or intensified drought in parts of the southern to central Rockies, Great Plains, Lower to Mid-Mississippi Valley, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as Puerto Rico, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor.
Half an inch of precipitation fell across the Great Lakes and parts of Missouri to the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, with less than half an inch across the Ohio Valley states and little to no precipitation over the Upper Mississippi Valley, according to the report.
“Reassessment of the last two months’ precipitation led to deletion of extreme drought over the Lake of the Woods region, contraction of moderate to severe drought in northwest Minnesota, and contraction of extreme drought in the northeast part of the state. But abnormal dryness expanded in parts of Illinois, Missouri, and southeast Iowa where 30-day dryness intensified and soils continued to dry,” the Drought Monitor report stated.
Little to no precipitation fell across the High Plains region this week, according to the Drought Monitor Map.
Reassessment of the last two months’ precipitation led to contraction of moderate drought in northeast North Dakota and severe drought in the central part of the state, the Drought Monitor report stated.
“But water levels in ponds and dugouts remained low in spite of late summer to early fall rains, thus prompting expansion of severe drought in other parts of central North Dakota. Above-average temperatures and no precipitation for the last two weeks resulted in expansion of moderate drought in southern parts of North Dakota and adjacent South Dakota. In Wyoming, many basins had below to well below-normal snowpack with no snow across the High Plains portion of the state, and snow, where it has occurred, was confined to the highest peaks (above 8,500 feet). The snow conditions combined with excessive evapotranspiration, drying soils, short-term dryness, and longer-term dryness to prompt expansion of moderate to extreme drought in parts of the state. In Colorado, drying soils, high evapotranspiration, low mountain snowpack, and mounting precipitation deficits resulted in expansion of moderate to extreme drought in many parts of the state,” the Drought Monitor report stated.
On November 28, USDA statistics had 84% of Colorado’s topsoil short or very short of moisture and 33% of the winter wheat in poor to very poor condition. Abnormal dryness and moderate drought expanded in southern and western parts of Kansas, according to this week’s report.