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Drought Intensifies in Several Parts of Rural America

Despite mostly near- to below-normal temps in much of the Midwest, excluding the Upper Midwest and Western Corn Belt, much of the region didn’t see appreciable rainfall.

As a result, short-term dryness continued to worsen, leading to widespread deterioration. The only improvements took place in the Eastern Corn Belt and Kentucky. Much of the Northern Plains had below-average rainfall during the week, adding to short-term precipitation deficits. Above-normal temps and high winds only made drought conditions worse by increasing moisture loss from soils and vegetation. Several rounds of heavy rainfall with thunderstorms traveled through the south from Oklahoma to Mississippi, leading to targeted improvements in abnormal dryness.

Improvements took place in the Texas Panhandle because of well-above-average rainfall. However, the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys saw short-term dryness continue to increase. Another week of above-normal rainfall across many areas of the Intermountain West resulted in widespread but targeted improvements.

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