National Drought Mitigation Center

Nation's Drought Gets Worse

Nov 21, 2012
(Map courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center)

A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that 60.1 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The portion of the lower 48 states in extreme or exceptional drought - the two worst classifications - also rose, to 19.04 percent from last week's 18.3 percent.

National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri’s overall drought picture remains dry, although there is some slight improvement in portions of the Show-Me State.

The latest map shows the drought still covering the entire state, and most of it in the severe category – although three pockets of land where drought conditions are only moderate have grown slightly larger over the past two weeks.  Those pockets are located in northeast, east-central and southwest Missouri.  Mark Svoboda is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

Drought conditions have eased across most of Missouri, but some parts of the state are still very dry.

Much of the relief can be credited to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, which moved through the Show-Me State three weeks ago.  Brian Fuchs is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He says, though, that portions of Missouri missed out.

National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

Drought conditions in Missouri have slightly intensified over the past week, according to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

More than a third of the state is in D4, or exceptional drought, the worst category.  That area covers the Boot-heal and a swath of western Missouri from Kansas City down to around Springfield.  The rest of the Show-Me State is in extreme drought (D3), the second-worst category.  NDMC Climatologist Mark Svoboda says Missouri can expect a brief reprieve next week.