According to the National Drought Monitor, where rains fell last week in the path of Hurricane Isaac and remnants of the storm, some drought improvement was noted. Many areas of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana recorded rainfall in the 2-6 inch range.
The monitor notes that in the Midwest, some areas received more rain and some less, "so the improvements made in these areas were based upon the totals (and in Illinois, totals over the last several weeks)." The monitor adds, "Many areas of Missouri and Illinois did see a two-category improvement this week and widespread areas of one-category improvements were evident in Indiana and Ohio. The improvements were based upon how well soil moisture levels responded throughout the area that received the most rain and also the favorable response of the river and streamflows, which were running at near record lows. The response to the storm is interesting in that for some areas, a very tight gradient of precipitation has been observed which led to rapid changes in drought status over a short distance."
Meanwhile in the Plains, the region continues to miss out on the rains, and the return of temperatures in the 100 degree Fahrenheit range allowed for further degradation this week. "In North Dakota, D1 was expanded into the northwest and southeast while D2 expanded in the east," states the monitor. "For South Dakota, a large expansion of D3 over most of the central portion of the state took place while D4 was introduced into the southeast portion of the state. The northwest portion of the state had D2 expansion while the northeast had D1 expansion there as well. In Nebraska, the D4 areas expanded to include most of the western half of the state and most of the northeast. Kansas saw D4 expand in the northwest part of the state while the eastern portion of the state saw great improvements in those areas that received rainfall associated with Isaac. Oklahoma saw D4 expand in the panhandle while Texas had general degradation in the south and panhandle regions."