According to the National Drought Monitor, 45.19% of U.S. in under some form of drought, up from 43.55% last week. But the monitor notes that after a very dry summer, some areas of the Midwest have been in a wetter and cooler pattern over the last several weeks.
"Over the last week, the heaviest rains were recorded from northeast Kansas into southern Iowa and into central Illinois and northwest Indiana," states the monitor. "Where the heaviest rains occurred, improvements were made, but it should be noted that many of the row crops will not benefit from these rains and pastures have had minimal improvement so far. Improvements were made in Michigan as an assessment of the impact of rains over the last several weeks allowed for the removal of D2 and a reduction of D1 conditions as well. Slight improvements were made over portions of southern Minnesota by removing the D3 from the southwest corner of the state while D1 was expanded in the central portion of the state."
Meanwhile across the Plains, another mostly dry week was seen. "Areas of Kansas, extreme southeast Nebraska, and portions of Oklahoma did record precipitation amounts that approached 4 inches in places. In these areas, full categorical improvements were shown specifically in northeast and south central Kansas, southeast Nebraska and central Oklahoma," it notes.
"In portions of southeast Oklahoma, D4 was expanded to include more of the area that has been missing out on the recent rains. Even with rains in portions of Texas, the consensus was that the impacted grazing lands are not showing much change, so no improvements were made," it adds.
Over the next five days (August 29-September 2) the remnants of Hurricane Isaac will continue to move inland and impact the area from Louisiana into Arkansas and portions of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. "Areas of the Midwest may see up to 7 inches of rain as the system moves through the region. The southwestern United States looks to stay in an active pattern with scattered showers from Arizona up into Utah and Idaho. Temperatures look to be well above normal over much of the country, with departures of 6-9 degrees Fahrenheit over the High Plains," states the outlook.