Rainfall continued to ease drought conditions in the Midwest in the last week, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map.
The substantial rain and snowfall in parts of the midwest this month have also raised concerns about planting delays for the U.S. corn crop. What farmers will not complain about is the rain helping to rebuild soil moisture levels depleted by last year’s severe drought.
As of Tuesday morning, the midwest was 14.93% in some level of drought. That figure was down 6.01% from a week earlier.
The High Plains region mostly saw moderate improvement, with the amount of the region in the severe drought category or worse falling 3.67% to 69.8%.
Drought conditions slightly eased in the contiguous U.S. overall, which is now 47.34% in drought, down a half of a percentage point from last week.
Kansas saw a decrease in drought conditions, but still has a long way to go. 81.7% of the state is now in severe drought or worse, which is down nearly 7.3% from last week. The worst two drought categories, extreme and exceptional, 56.64% of the state are in those two categories, but is down 5% from last week. The caveat to that is that 16.94% of Kansas remains in exceptional drought conditions, which was up just a hair from last week. The worst areas are in southwest Kansas extending into southeastern Colorado, where the exceptional drought area expanded from last week.