The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report, released this morning, shows no relief to the many drought-plagued areas of the United States. The Southeast, a record drought is unyielding. Even areas that received record rains in July saw little relief because the drought had been so intense.
Mississippi had the wettest July on record, but the past six months are still the driest on record. Alabama -- ground zero for the drought -- saw an expansion of the most intense drought into new areas. North Carolina's drought also expanded, and near-record low stream flows were recorded.
Hot and dry conditions across the west led to the continuation or worsening of conditions, as water supplies and crops suffer. Pocatello, Idaho recorded its warmest July on record, and records stretch back to 1939.
The high plains experienced temperatures 6-8 degrees above normal, with enough rain in parts of Nebraska and Kansas to reduce some drought conditions, but so little elsewhere that conditions worsened. Parts of South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southwest Minnesota saw less than a quarter of an inch of rain all month -- setting new records for July.
Hawarden, Iowa had no rain at all, and Cetnerville, South Dakota had only a sprinkle. Conditions for crops and cattle, and the farmers who tend them, are worsening. The dry swath extends to the Midwest, where Minnesota has been half of normal. The drought in the region is less intense than elsewhere, but dry conditions are expanding in Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois, while some relief came to parts of Ohio and Kentucky.
In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, rains were not enough to alleviate drought conditions where they existed, and dryness expanded in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and New York.
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