In the latest Drought Monitor report issued this week there's evidence of an expansion and intensification of dryness in large sections of the country, with only southern Texas reporting some improvement. Here's a breakdown of the report from droughtmonitor.unl.edu.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Despite a couple of thunderstorm complexes that brought light to locally moderate rain to parts of the region, the late-period hot weather across the mid-Atlantic and a return to dry weather over the last couple of weeks allowed D0 conditions to expand through much of this region, with a few patches of moderate drought showing up. Farther north, there was some limited expansion of D0 and, in western Pennsylvania, D1 conditions.
The Tennessee Valley, Southeast, Deep South, and lower Ohio Valley: Brutal heat and only light to locally moderate rain engendered a broad expansion and intensification of dryness and drought. Most of this region recorded less than half of normal precipitation during the last 30 days, with under 25 percent of normal falling on the lower Ohio Valley, much of Kentucky and northern Tennessee. Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee each have 45 to 50 percent of their corn crop in poor or very poor condition as well as 34 to 49 percent of soybeans.
DEEPENING DROUGHT - The two maps above - from this week and last show the spread of dry weather across the heart of the Corn Belt. Longer-term forecasts offer little hope for improvement soon.