According to the National Drought Monitor, as the result of last week's rains, one-category improvements were made in southeast Minnesota and the northeastern quarter of Iowa. Meanwhile, notable improvements were made in Texas, especially the Coastal Bend and far southern Texas.
"In southern Minnesota, the topsoil moisture situation has improved, while the remaining drought concerns focus on subsoil moisture and surface hydrology," states the monitor. "The precipitation deficits currently in place are primarily attributed to deficits accrued from August through October of last year. Therefore, southern Minnesota’s drought impact designation has been changed from short-term (S) to long-term (L)."
Meanwhile in northwest Missouri, the monitor notes that recent dryness has been "especially pronounced" around the Kansas City area, extending into neighboring parts of eastern Kansas. "Pending what rainfall occurs this week, D0 may need to be introduced next week. The same is true for portions of the Missouri Boot-heel (portions of Mississippi, New Madrid and Pemiscot Counties) where less than 1-inch of rain has fallen so far this month," it states. "If this dryness persists, it will likely impact regional cropland irrigation. Temperatures during the past 7-days have averaged between 2 degrees below normal to 2 degrees above normal across the Corn Belt region."
No changes were made to drought in Oklahoma, but notable improvements were made in Texas. "In addition, some of the D0 in east Texas has retreated, while some trimming of extreme drought (D3) and exceptional drought (D4) areas was also performed in the Panhandle," it states.
Over the next five days (April 26-30), the monitor says a cold front will move across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, while a slowly meandering front is predicted to stretch from the southern Great Plains eastward to the southern Atlantic coast. "Heavy precipitation (2 inches or greater) is forecast across portions of South Dakota, Nebraska, and the middle Ohio River Valley, which will help to alleviate drought conditions in those areas. Moderate amounts of precipitation (0.5 to 2 inches) are anticipated over parts of California, eastern Montana and much of North Dakota, the middle Mississippi Valley, the mid-Atlantic region, northern New York, northern New England, and southeastern parts of Florida," it states. "Light precipitation (less than 0.5 inch) is predicted across most of the Southeast, Texas, the central and southern Rockies and Colorado Plateau, and the Great Lakes region, while most remaining areas are likely to receive little if any precipitation."