According to the National Drought Monitor, "severe" drought (D2) spread across Indiana, with nearly the entire eastern Corn Belt now covered at least "moderate" (D1) drought. Only 28.87% of the Midwest is drought free, an area that is mostly isolated to the Upper Midwest.
The monitor states that showers in the Upper Midwest brought relief to some drought areas. "But further to the south, it was another dry week with 90+ degree temperatures which continued to dry soils, stress crops, and lower stream levels, with abnormally dry and drought conditions expanding over a large area," it notes. "D1-D3 grew from Tennessee to Indiana and Illinois, D1 expanded in Ohio, and D0 expanded into southern Wisconsin and eastern Tennessee and slightly in West Virginia. An oval of D1 was introduced to northeast Tennessee-southwest Virginia and to southern Wisconsin-northern Illinois. Expansion and contraction of D0 occurred in Wisconsin and of D0 and D1 areas in Iowa."
Meanwhile in the Plains, excessive heat resulted in the spread of drought, as temps soared past 100 degrees late in the week. "Healy, Kansas, whose record spans 111 years, set an all-time record high for the month of June when the temperature reached 113 degrees on June 25. In all, over 500 daily maximum temperature records were broken nationwide during this USDM week (June 19-25)," it notes.
Outlook Not Promising
"During the June 28-July 2, 2012 time period, a high pressure ridge is forecast to dominate the central and eastern United States. Showers and thunderstorms may develop along the northern and western fringe of the ridge, bringing a chance for rain to states in an arc from New Mexico to the Dakotas to Ohio, with the greatest chance for half an inch or more total from eastern Nebraska to northern Illinois," it predicts. "Rain is possible in the Pacific Northwest and in the Northeast, southern Texas and southern Florida. Otherwise, conditions will be very dry. Very hot temperatures will affect most of the country from the Intermountain Basin to the East Coast. This temperature pattern is expected to continue for July 3-11, with below-normal precipitation stretching from the Intermountain Basin to the central and southern Plains, across the Midwest, to the interior Northeast. Above-normal precipitation may occur over New Mexico, from coastal Florida to South Carolina, and (early in the period) over the Upper Mississippi Valley. Northern Alaska is expected to be drier and warmer than normal, and southern coastal Alaska wetter and cooler than normal."