According to the National Drought Monitor, drought conditions worsened across the area called the High Plains, which includes the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. The entire region is covered by some form of drought, with 24.35% now covered by the most intense category -- Exceptional.
Meanwhile 8.75% of the Midwest is now drought free, an improvement from 5.97% last week. Much of the improvement was made in the eastern Corn Belt, as the monitor states recent precipitation allowed for a 1-category improvement in the drought depiction across north-central and northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania. "In southwestern Indiana, a large surplus (5-8 inches in the past 30-days) of precipitation will help to recharge soils. This area will be reassessed next week, with improvements likely," it states.
In its outlook for the next five days, the monitor says areas of heavy rainfall (2 inches or more) are predicted in a band from Rhode Island southwestward to the Washington, D.C. area, as well as in a horseshoe-shaped pattern from the Texas Coast westward across southern Texas, then heading northward across the Texas Panhandle and then curving east-northeastward across much of Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas to southern Missouri. "The southern Plains can certainly use the rain. Unfortunately, little if any rain is expected to fall across the hard-hit drought areas in the eastern Dakotas, eastern Nebraska, and the Upper Mississippi Valley/Upper Great Lakes region," it states.