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Tracking drought conditions across Missouri and California

The second half of 2022 brought well below average precipitation totals to much of the United States including both Missouri and California. This lead to widespread drought conditions increasing wildfire dangers and even brought issues across the farming industry.

Just three months ago, the state of Missouri saw 9% of it covered by extreme drought and 37% covered by severe drought. As of February 7th, there is no longer any measures of extreme drought with only 1.5% of the state seeing areas with severe drought conditions. This trend has continued to show hopes of escaping such dry conditions.

If people thought that Missouri saw harsh conditions, then looking at California would have seemed unworldly. Just under 50% of the state saw extreme drought conditions will 92% of the state saw severe drought causing limitations of water usage in some cities. In January, widespread flooding occurred for several weeks due to various atmospheric rivers forming causing heavy rainfall periods. Although this was not going to be the complete answer for the drought implications across the state, it provided a decent amount of relief with no areas seeing extreme drought anymore.

A look back into Mid-Missouri shows some areas seeing moderate drought conditions. Being in the winter months, the biggest issue this could lead to is elevated fire dangers. With a drier atmosphere and drier conditions on the ground, just a spark can cause a wide variety of issues in the wrong area.

Relief looks to continue into the extended forecast for Missouri. A surplus of low pressure systems are forecasted to pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and produce more precipitation. According to the Climate Prediction Center, Missouri is forecasted to completely lift itself out of any drought conditions. California sadly is forecasted to see worsening conditions with less than average amounts of precipitation forecasted.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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