Though it doesn't appear much has changed from last week according to the latest UNL Drought Monitor, remnants from Hurricane Sandy passed through several eastern states, bringing heavy rainfall and in some cases, snowfall.
That precipitation was most significant in the East Coast states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania but some rain passed on into the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Michael Brewer of the National Climatic Data Center says the superstorm brought more than eight inches of rainfall to Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. North Carolina, Connecticut and Rhode Island also experienced flooding and wind.
Brewer says the storm erased all moderate drought in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, with the exception of some of central Virginia and upstate New York.
The Southeast was mostly dry this week as moderate drought conditions in southern Alabama expanded and a large area of extreme to exceptional drought persisted in Georgia.
In the Midwest, recent rains improved abnormally dry to severe drought conditions.
Drought conditions were steady in the Plains. A slight expansion of extreme drought was noted in Oklahoma, where some parts of the state are suffering from the severe impacts of low soil moisture. There were also areas of expansion in Texas.
Dry weather is concerning wheat growers in Kansas, though emergence is much stronger with Wednesday's crop report. South Dakota is lagging behind with just 23% of its wheat crop emerging, 65 points behind emergence this time last year.
Drought in the West was relatively unchanged from last week.
Ahead, Brewer predicts an "enhanced probability" of precipitation from the Southern Plains that will move into the Great Lakes region and northern New England. The Southern Plains and High Plains may also see beneficial rainfall.