Tracking worsening drought conditions across Mid-Missouri
Drought conditions have worsened across most portions of Central Missouri throughout the past week. Originally, portions of northwestern Callaway county stood alone as the only area seeing severe drought conditions. As of Thursday morning, severe conditions have expanded along a line spanning from Vandalia to the southwest back towards Warsaw.
Many Missouri farmers are nearing or are at the end of their planting season as early May rolls through. Most farmers haven't felt the effects of the drought just yet, but say they need rainfall within the next week in order to see better conditions for future crop growth.
In the past 30 days, it's clear to see which area has experienced the least amount of rainfall. This same area mirrors the updated drought monitor. Just to the northwest of Columbia has seen nearly 2.5" inches below normal rainfall totals in this time span. Many areas along this line see similiar or worse totals.
What does severe drought conditions mean? During severe droughts trees begin to become strained due to the lack of groundwater. Along with this, plants grow at a low to zero rate which begins to cause issues for farmers when experienced during the mid and late growing season. Some areas could also see voluntary water restrictions.
Thankfully, scattered showers and storms are expected throughout the next with some areas possibly reaching 2" in total. Although this rainfall will help conditions, this will not total solve the drought seen. it will take a wetter than average May in order to return to normal conditions.