Missouri Fields Continue Freefall Into Drought
Drought conditions in Missouri as of May 2nd, 2023. (The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC.)

A lack of significant rain in the past week brought about another full-scale downgrade for a wide stretch of Missouri.  This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor shows the midsection of the state, stretching from southern Ralls County southwest through Columbia to Barton and Vernon counties, has fallen into severe drought.  It’s the second downgrade in conditions in as many weeks, putting 10.5 percent of the state in this stage.  A small portion of northwestern Barton and southwestern Vernon counties are now in extreme drought, the first time in nearly five months that a portion of Missouri has appeared in the second-worst level of drought.

Nearly every part of Missouri that was in abnormal dryness last week fell into drought, accounting for 16.2 percent of the state.  That includes a majority of Schuyler and Scotland counties.  Abnormal dryness also expanded in both northern and southern directions in the past week.  To the north, abnormal dryness stretches from Downtown Kansas City northeast into the eastern edges of Livingston and Grundy counties, including Trenton.  Northern Harrison, northwest Mercer, and all but the Newtown area in Putnam and Sullivan counties are in pre-drought stage.  To the south, abnormal dryness stretches from Seneca northeast to a majority of Camden and Miller counties before turning east to roughly follow Route 42 through Maries County.  The St Louis metro as well as nearly all of Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Ste Genevieve, St François, and Washington counties are also impacted.

54.3 percent of Missouri is now in abnormal dryness or some stage of drought.