According to the National Drought Monitor, "as of last week, 87% of the U.S. corn crop, 85% of soybeans, 63% of hay, and 72% of cattle areas were experiencing drought. Over half of the corn and soybean areas are experiencing Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) Drought. This has led to both reduced yields and earlier harvests."
For the Midwest and High Plains, the monitor reports widespread rains in the Midwest alleviated some D1-D4 drought as well as Abnormal Dryness (D0) in a swath from central Iowa, across northern and central Illinois and Indiana, and into western Ohio and southern Michigan. "North and South Dakota also experienced beneficial precipitation, alleviating Abnormal Dryness (D0). Exceptional Drought (D4) expanded in the western and central parts of Nebraska and through central and eastern Kansas and into western and central Missouri," the monitor elaborates.
During the Aug. 16 to Aug. 20 time period, the Drought Monitor says there is an enhanced probability of precipitation from the extreme South, through the Southeast and mid-Atlantic and through New England. "From the West through the Great Lakes, there is a suppressed chance of precipitation," the monitor adds. Below normal temperatures are expected from the center of the country eastward, according to the Monitor.