According to the National Drought Monitor, 55.05% of the Midwest is free of drought, which is down from 72.82% from last week. Drought now covers 82.43% of Iowa (74.5% last week) and 62.8% of Illinois (44.82% last week). National statistics reveal drought expanded by around two percentage points from last week to cover 60% of the contiguous U.S.
For the Midwest, the monitor notes: "Lack of recent precipitation is beginning to be felt throughout the region. Abnormal Dryness (D0) expanded across eastern Illinois and into western Indiana, in northern Michigan and across most of Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. Likewise, Moderate Drought (D1) expanded in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Cooler temperatures have helped abate the lack of moisture lately but that could be changing as above-normal temperatures are expected in the area over the next two weeks."
In its outlook for the next five days (August 22-26), it says there is an above-normal chance for precipitation mainly in the Southeast, the extreme Southern Plains and the Southwest. Temperatures are expected to be above-normal across the northern part of the country from Montana through New England and below-normal on both the East and West Coasts.