Drought is staying strong in the Plains states this week, largely centered on Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, while a significant portion of the Midwest is clear of drought thanks to late January rainfall.
Wheat producers remain concerned about the area of exceptional drought covering nearly 30% of the High Plains, compared to just .04% one year ago.
Nebraska has taken brunt of the damage, with more than three-quarters of the state in exceptional drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that rain did fall across the Central and Northern Plains, though the ground was too frozen to accept the moisture.
In the Southern Plains, eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas drought improved significantly, though South Texas and western Oklahoma weren't as lucky. Drought expanded in both regions. Much of the rest of the West, including California and Oregon remained unchanged.
The Southeast appears to be recovering from drought due in part to the large storm that moved through Jan. 29-30, bringing significant precipitation. However, southern Georgia still suffers from a localized deep drought. The mid-Atlantic was largely unchanged.
The Midwest was the jewel of the drought monitor this week, with Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio showing strong improvements and relief of severe to moderate drought.
Into next week, the National Weather Service predicts precipitation moving from the West Coast across the central U.S. and into the Mid-Atlantic.