According to the National Drought Monitor, 55.20% of the Midwest is drought-free, which compares to 50.11% last week. It notes that moderate precip resulted in a reduction of abnormal dryness (D0) from western and central Missouri to southeast Iowa.
"Temperatures continue to be below normal across the region," it notes. "Missouri is experiencing its coldest March in at least 17 years. For the most part, vegetation remains dormant and evaporative rates have been kept to a minimum. Over the past few weeks, there has been adequate soil moisture infiltration, as opposed to areas farther north where frozen soils exist from several inches to several feet in depth (for example, east-central Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin)."
The monitor reflects the southeast corner of Iowa now being drought-free, which accounts for a 6.78% improvement in the state's drought-free rating from last week. Illinois now has 84.01% drought-free, which resulted in a slight shrinking of the drought area in the northern section of the state. Meanwhile, little change was made to the drought across Nebraska, with 100% of the state still covered by some form of drought. The only improvement noted for Nebraska was a change to the most extreme category from 76.41% to 76.16% -- and that's much not improvement!