Drought Monitor: Some Drought Improvement Across Corn Belt

May 3, 2012 02:40 AM

According to the National Drought Monitor, there was some drought improvement across the Corn Belt, but overall, rains are still needed for further improvement.


"Contrasting signals emerged over Illinois and Indiana. Recent rains stemmed the tide of drought in some areas but did were not enough to stop the reports of dry conditions across Indiana. Minor modifications were made to the depiction of drought over Illinois to reflect some recent rains (1.0-1.9 inches)," it states. "Farther north, a wet pattern allowed for some improvement over the arrowhead of Minnesota and across North and South Dakota. Improvements across Minnesota were based on recovering lake levels and recent rains (30 and 60-day percent of normal were greater than 125 percent in some regions). Across the Dakotas, 30 and 60-day percent of normal precipitation and SPI values were used to shape the drought depiction. Those indicators warranted the removal of D1 conditions near the North Dakota-South Dakota border, and improved conditions across Perkins and Ziebach counties. Eastern South Dakota has experienced near-median to 150% of median precipitation for this calendar year while stock dams out west are still drier than desired."

In the Central and Southern Plains, the monitor notes the changes to the drought conditions across Texas varied this week, with some improvements across the northern portions of the state.

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Importantly, the forecast from the National Weather Service depict an active northern storm track for the next 5 days, with some moisture moving northward over the western Gulf Coast. "Rainfall amounts are expected to exceed 3 inches across portions of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, with amounts greater than 1 inch expected from North Dakota to New Hampshire," it states.

Meanwhile, dry conditions are anticipated across the Southwest, Central Rockies and much of the southern Great Plains. "During the period from May 8-12, conditions favor warmer than normal temperatures from Nevada to the Pacific Northwest and across the southeast with below-normal temperatures from the southern Great Plains to the Northeast. A southward shift in the active weather is anticipated, as wet conditions are favored from Texas to Nebraska, and across the southeast," states the monitor's outlook.


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