Wet Weather Helps Out Drought
A significant portion of the Corn Belt moves from extreme drought to severe drought while the plains states see little relief.
Published: Sep 7, 2012
Hurricane Isaac's landfall last week took the legs from under the summer's severe drought for a portion of the Corn Belt, while Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma remain in extreme or exceptional drought.
The Midwest received an estimated 2-6 inches of rain from Isaac. Missouri's condition was improved by two categories and Illinois has moved from D3 (extreme) and D4 (exceptional) drought into D2 (severe) and D1 (moderate) ratings, showing significant improvement from the last two weeks.
Though Missouri, Indiana and Illinois droughts show signs of slowing, Iowa wasn't so lucky. Portions of the state moved into D4 drought and D3 extended to reach Minnesota. Wisconsin remained relatively unchanged.
Isaac's rainfall helped ease drought conditions, but the strong winds weren't easy on the corn.High temperatures in the plains added insult to injury, as D4 areas expanded in Nebraska and Oklahoma. Eastern Kansas did receive a small portion of the rains associated with Isaac, pushing D4 conditions back toward the west.
Drought conditions in most Western states remained status quo, as drought conditions of varying levels continued to plague Wyoming and Montana. Some rains in Colorado improved drought conditions there.
Scattered showers in the Northeast and wet weather in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic have improved most short-term impacts of the drought. Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation Center explained that groundwater and soil moisture in the Southeast have been very slow to respond to recent rainfall, and lingering long term issues remain in the South.
Fuchs estimates below normal temperatures looking ahead into the beginning of next week, and projected rains will cover Kansas and Oklahoma into western Kentucky.
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Tagged: Drought, Corn Belt, national drought mitigation center