According to the National Drought Monitor, 57.40% of the contiguous U.S. is covered by some form of drought, which is basically unchanged from last week. The monitor reports 79.38% of the contiguous U.S. was covered with drought a year ago.
According to the monitor, wet conditions over portions of Illinois and Indiana were in contrast to the dryness over most of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. "In Minnesota, D0 (abnormally dry) conditions were expanded while in Wisconsin, a new area of D0 was introduced," it says. "Western Iowa had D1 (moderate drought) conditions introduced, while the area rated D0 was pushed farther to the east. Portions of southern Missouri recorded very heavy rain during the current week, allowing for some trimming of the southern edge of the D0 area in the state. The D1 region in Missouri was also trimmed along the west edge, but pushed farther to the south as well," it states.
For the Plains, another week of very heavy rain amounts over much of Kansas allowed for a full category improvement of much of the drought status in the state, especially in the central and east, the monitor states. "Some counties reported several stations with 5+ inches of rain for the week," the monitor continues. "Not all areas of Kansas received the beneficial rains as most of western Kansas missed out again this week. Farther to the north, D0 was removed from portions of southeast Nebraska and D2 (severe drought) was improved to D1 in southern Nebraska," it states. In northern portions of Nebraska, a full category improvement was made along the border with South Dakota, and in western Nebraska, D3 (extreme drought) was improved and D4 (exceptional drought) removed. "South Dakota also had several areas improve, including a full category improvement in southern portions of the state as well as into western counties. In northeast South Dakota, D0 was expanded because of short-term dryness. North Dakota had D1 introduced and D0 expand as short-term dryness has started to impact the region," the monitor concludes.
In the South: the monitor states: "Dryness and warm temperatures in the area brought some expansion of the drought intensities. D2 was increased in southeast Arkansas while the D0 and D1 conditions in the northwest improved. For south Texas, D3 and D4 expanded, while in east Texas D0 was introduced into several counties. Improvements were made in portions of the Texas panhandle and west Texas where the recent rains along with a generally wet pattern helped to improve the drought-related impacts. In the Oklahoma panhandle, D4 was increased to the east as several counties have missed out on many of the recent rain events in the region and have season low precipitation totals."
Meanwhile, in the West: the monitor reports several areas of improvement took place in Colorado as the consistent rain has allowed for some green up of pastures and curtailed further degradation in many portions of the state. "In southeast Colorado, D4 was improved, while D3 was improved in the southwest. In the north central portions of the state, D1 and D2 conditions were improved," the monitor states. "Wyoming has had some areas improve this week as D0 was removed from the far northeast portions of the state while D1 was improved in the southeast. New Mexico had some adjoining areas to Colorado and Texas improved this week as the area received some scattered rain event," the monitor continues. "In central New Mexico, D4 conditions were improved as the short-term conditions improved. Improvements were also made in Arizona as many locations in the northern portion of the state had record to near record wetness for the month. In the north central portion of the state, D3 was improved to D2 and in the southeast, D2 and D1 were both improved. A large expansion of D3 conditions took place this week in Nevada, southwest Idaho, and eastern Oregon. In Oregon, D1 was expanded in the central portion of the state, and in Utah, an area of D2 was expanded where hydrologic issues are continuing," the monitor concludes.
In its outlook for the next five days (August 8-11), the monitor states: "Temperatures will continue to remain below normal over most of the country, with departures of 6 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit anticipated over the Plains and West Coast. Above-normal temperatures are expected in the southern United States and the northern Rocky Mountains. A wet pattern is likely to continue over much of Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri and into Kentucky and Tennessee. The forecast is anticipating amounts of 3 inches over most of Kansas and western Kentucky. Dry conditions are projected over most of the western United States and into Texas," the monitor states.