According to the National Drought Monitor, the combination of below-normal precip and above-normal temps in May has resulted in the spread of drought across the Corn Belt. In particular, most of Missouri, southeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois was placed in abnormal dryness, with new D1 areas in northern Missouri and central Illinois where 90-day precipitation was half of normal.
The monitor also notes that light rains (0.5 to 1 inch) were not enough to erase short-term shortages (D0 and D1) in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, so conditions remained status-quo.
In the Southern Plains, the monitor notes after several weeks of warm and dry conditions, the impacts of beneficial rains in April have been erased. As a result, D0 was increased across north-central Nebraska (Sandhills) and into southern South Dakota. Similarly, slight expansion of D0 was made in western and northeastern parts of South Dakota and southwestern North Dakota based upon a very dry 30 days. Farther south, scattered but generally light showers further degraded conditions in southern Nebraska and western and northern Kansas. Reports from southeastern Nebraska and Kansas indicated poor soybean emergence, corn stress, and some stock ponds drying up. Accordingly, D1 was expanded across western and northern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska, with D2 increasing in western Kansas.
Meanwhile, moderate to heavy (1.5 to 4.5") rains fell on south-central and southeastern Kansas, northern and eastern Oklahoma, and parts of northern Texas and the Texas Panhandle, but most of this rain fell on non-drought areas of Kansas and Oklahoma (although northeastern Oklahoma was trending back toward D0-D1). "Fortunately in Texas, the rain did provide some relief, with some trimming of D1 to D4 areas in the northern Panhandle where 1 to 3 inches fell. Farther southeast, however, another dry and warm week expanded D1 across southeastern Texas, with some small areas degrading into D2 that had larger short-term deficits," it states.
During the next 5 days (June 7-11), the best chances for decent rainfall will be along the northern U.S. border, stretching from coastal Washington and Oregon eastward to the northern Plains and upper Midwest, and in New England. "A second area of rain is forecast from the south-central Great Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley and southeastward into Florida. Dry weather is expected in the Southwest and Midwest. Temperatures should average above normal in the southern High Plains, Great Lakes region, eastern Corn Belt, and Northeast. Subnormal readings are forecast for the West and the southern Atlantic Coast, with seasonable weather in the Southeast and Nation’s midsection," it states.