Drought Monitor: 'Extreme' Drought Spreads Across Corn Belt

August 9, 2012 02:35 AM

According to the National Drought Monitor, the area of "extreme" drought expanded across the Corn Belt, now covering 38.19% of the area compared to 31.8% last week.


Regarding the Midwest, the drought monitor states: "Conditions continue to improve in the eastern half of the region as another week of good rains came to parts of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Again, generally speaking, the drought continues to improve and is being pushed west, tightening the gradient along the way with 1-category improvements noted in eastern and southern Ohio, eastern and central Kentucky and north-central Indiana. Parts of the core region of drought in this region continue to see deterioration this week marked by a slight expansion of D2/D3 in southeastern Indiana. Continuing east, both Iowa and Illinois see expansion of D3 and D3. Missouri and Arkansas continue to worsen as the heat and dryness continues its grip, leading to an expansion of D4 in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri along with a new area of D4 in extreme west-central Missouri adjoining Kansas. Reports of water-related impacts are ticking upward with each passing week as mandatory restrictions continue to ramp upward around the region. As the drought continues, this will undoubtedly become a more prevalent issue as the agricultural season passes and attention turns to next year’s crops or herds."

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The outlook for the next five days (August 8-12) shows a shift in the heat from the country’s mid-section to the West as high pressure builds in there. "This leaves prospects for precipitation high and dry for most locations west of the Rockies and increases the chances for the wet stuff over the Midwest, Northeast, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast and Atlantic coastal reaches of the Carolinas and Georgia," states the monitor. "Above-normal temperatures will accompany the high pressure in the West and the cool down to the east of the Rockies will be a welcomed respite for most of the Great Plains and Midwest."


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