U.S. Drought Area Shrinking, Flooding Common

To no surprise, the drought monitor shows a shrinkage of dry conditions throughout the nation compared to trends over the last year, but parts of Texas and the west remain dry. Conditions have improved in parts of the south, which received rain late in the last week that allowed a retreat of drought conditions. In the west, improving long-term soil moisture deficits, building snow pack, and the filling of reservoirs, are all leading to more widespread drought improvement. Still, roughly 47 percent of Texas remains in a classified drought, and states like Colorado, Utah and Oregon, are covered in drought classifications. Further, northern New Mexico has extreme and exceptional drought conditions. The Midwest and plains states remain saturated from above normal winter precipitation, and the Missouri River was expected to reach at or near record flood stages. Evacuations were issued in Northwestern Missouri and in areas of Iowa and Nebraska. By Thursday afternoon, flood warnings, watches, or advisories covered more than half of Nebraska and Iowa, and nearly the entirety of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, with an abundance of advisories and watches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even throughout the Pacific Northwest.