Drought conditions worsened this week in the nation's top corn growing state. The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday morning showed about 12% of Iowa in D-2, or severe drought. Last week, that level of drought covered 7% of the state—about 28% of the state is drought-free.
In the drought-plagued northern Plains, just a small sliver of North Dakota remains drought-free. The Drought Monitor shows 99.71% of the state has some level of dryness or drought. That's three points worse than last week's report.
There's a slight improvement in South Dakota this week. The portion of the state in D-3—extreme drought— dropped to 5% this week, an eight point improvement in that category.
In the Pacific Northwest, dryness intensifies as rain bypasses the region while record-breaking high temperatures prolong the dry spell. Eighty-five percent of Washington state is now in abnormal dryness. That's a 37% decline from last week.