Drought Monitor: West Gets Relief; Dryness Grows in Midwest, High Plains

USAgNet - 05/07/2021

Rainfall for the week ending May 4 improved soil moisture levels across much of Texas, northeastern Colorado, and portions of the Central Plains.

Even so, negative moisture conditions persisted in the Trans-Pecos and the Texas Panhandle regions, as well as 83% of the western United States.

According to today's Drought Monitor report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the most severe conditions centered on the Four Corners states, Nevada, and California.

In the latter state, conditions deteriorated in response to back-to-back dry water years, above-normal temperatures, below-normal snowpack, and drought impacts (agricultural, ecosystem health, water supply, recreation).

In the Midwest, mounting precipitation deficits (2 to 4+ inches) during the past 60 days led to an expansion of areas of Moderate Drought (D1) in northern Illinois, as well as new areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) in southern Iowa and northwestern Missouri where conditions have been dry during the past 30 days.

Elsewhere, areas of Extreme Drought (D3) expanded in northern South Dakota and southern North Dakota.

Both states are reporting drought-related impacts, including poor water quality for livestock and dry stock ponds.

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