The winter storm that dumped several inches of snow and ice across much of Missouri may bring some short-term relief to the state’s drought conditions.
Kelly Smith is Director of Marketing and Commodities for the Missouri Farm Bureau. He says the winter storm arrived on the heels of recent rain events, helping saturate the soil.
“This snow is gonna slowly melt into the ground," Smith said. "We will get some runoff from it in some areas because they got a 10 to 13-inch snow…we had areas in our state as high as 13, maybe even 15, inches up in north of (the) Kansas City area.”
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.
Extreme drought conditions in Missouri have worsened even though nationwide the total area affected by this year’s severe dry weather has decreased slightly. That’s according to this week’s report from the US Drought Monitor.
The portion of the country facing any level of drought decreased a point to about 63 percent. Meanwhile, about 93 percent of Missouri is in an extreme to exceptional drought.