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Drought recedes statewide, spreads in mid-Missouri

DROUGHT MONITOR:

The drought monitor is a product collaboratively produced by various government agencies and other organizations, to keep tabs on how dry (or not) communities are around the country. The product is updated every Thursday morning based on data collected through Tuesday morning of the same week. This means the drought monitor is updated once a week, and doesn't always include the latest rainfall recorded.

Drought conditions are broken down into 5 main categories; Abnormally Dry, Moderate, Severe, Extreme, and Exceptional.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR US:

Two weeks ago, the drought monitor showed everything from abnormally dry (yellow) to extreme drought conditions (red) across Missouri, with mid-Missouri missing out on the extreme drought. Severe drought conditions spanning at least some portion of 11 counties represented the driest conditions locally.

A week later, after several inches of rain area wide, last week's drought monitor was released on July 28th. Here's a look at some of the soaking rain leading up to Thursday.

Because not all of this rain fell before Tuesday, July 26th at 7 am, only some of this rainfall was accounted for. Here was the latest drought monitor up until today, Thursday, August 4th.

This report highlighted narrowed drought conditions for some, especially where the axis of heavy rain fell early last Tuesday morning in Montgomery and Audrain counties, but drought conditions south of I-70 are largely unchanged, with extreme drought coming closer to mid-Missouri. Notably, more rain fell south of I-70 on Tuesday, July 26th, and through the next week leading up to the next data cutoff on Tuesday, August 2nd. Here's the latest map from that data collection, released today.

This map shows improved conditions in various places across mid-Missouri, but not for all. Where the drought is the worst, it holds on the strongest, and in some cases grows. Notable impacts are along I-70 west of Columbia, where severe drought conditions remain unchanged. Also, extreme drought has now expanded into mid-MO, up I-44 in Pulaski, Camden, Phelps, and Maries counties. It's not all bad, as portions of Benton, Pettis, Morgan, Moniteau, and Miller counties find themselves out of all drought classification, including the abnormally dry. Still, many could use more rain, and that's why today's rain is so helpful despite some already experiencing flooding with heavy rains over the last two weeks. As of this writing on Thursday morning, some of the heaviest 24 hour totals. This rain won't show up in the drought monitor until next week's release.

This means for a better understanding of what this week's rain means for the ongoing drought in our state, we'll have to wait until next Thursday. Stay tuned on air, web and social media for next week's update. For more detailed information on the Drought Monitor, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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John Ross

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