Midwest, Southern Plains Remain in Drought

Mild dryness, drought conditions show minimal advancement; extreme conditions are shrinking

Published on: Oct 31, 2013

Though no drastic improvements appeared on the U.S. Drought Monitor this week, conditions are improving slightly.

A dry and cool week across the Midwest did not allow for advanced improvements, though the northern section of the lower peninsula of Michigan and northwest Minnesota along the North Dakota border saw dryness retreat.

The Midwest is now seeing mostly moderate to severe drought conditions, stretching from central Minnesota to the southern tip of Illinois. Midwest drought conditions do show a connection to the Plains states near Iowa, and abnormally dry conditions creep into a sizeable portion of Indiana.

Meanwhile, the Delta saw enough precipitation to improve drought conditions last week. Between Arkansas and Mississippi, D0 and D1 improvements were noted. The drought still stretches from central Arkansas into a majority of Louisiana, but no extreme drought is noted in the area.

Mild dryness, drought conditions show minimal advancement; extreme conditions are shrinking
Mild dryness, drought conditions show minimal advancement; extreme conditions are shrinking

The Plains, West and Southwest continue in a mostly dry pattern, the Drought Monitor reports. A wide swath of moderate to severe drought with pockets of extreme and exceptional drought still exist across a majority of the region. A pocket of completely drought-free land appears in Colorado, and some southern portions of Texas and Arizona also show drought-free conditions.

Some precipitation was recorded in New Mexico last week, according to the drought monitor, but for the most part the area was dry and drought status remains unchanged.

Pockets of exceptional drought in Nevada and California remain.

In the Southeast, a drier than normal fall has resulted in expanded dryness in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina and as far north as Virginia.

Statistical comparisons show that conditions have advanced very slightly, with 55.87% of the contiguous U.S. in D0-D4 conditions, compared to 54.96% last week.

Midwest, Southern Plains Remain in Drought