According to the National Drought Monitor, 27.18% of the Midwest is covered by some form of drought, which is up from 22.94% last week. This excludes Nebraska, which has seen the intensify of drought increase recently.
Regarding the heartland, the monitor states, "Beneficial rain improved drought conditions in southern South Dakota as well as northern Nebraska. Conversely, Iowa experienced an expansion of Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) in the central and eastern part of the state."
Meanwhile across the South and Southern Plains, the monitor notes beneficial rains fell across portions of northern Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas this week leading to improvements in drought conditions in western Kansas, western and central Oklahoma and the east and Panhandle of Texas. "Conversely, Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) expanded from eastern Texas into Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas," it adds.
In its outlook for August 15-19, forecasters with the monitor say there is an above-normal chance for precipitation in the Southeast and in areas of the High Plains. "Temperatures are expected to be above-normal in the West, mostly centered on the Rockies, and below-normal in the Southern Plains and into the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic," it predicts.