While the Coasts stayed relatively dry, the Midwest, Central Plains and portions of the South received a dose of locally heavy rains and higher temperatures this Drought Monitor period.
Heavier rains appeared in the Central Plains and portions of the Upper Midwest as well as along the central and western Gulf Coast, according to this week's drought map author, David Simeral of the Western Regional Climate Center.
Rainfall accumulations in the Central Plains and Upper Midwest were heaviest across Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, Simeral reports, with some areas receiving in excess of six inches.
This week's rains led to one-category improvements in areas of moderate drought and abnormally dry in southwestern and central Missouri as well as reductions in areas of abnormally dry in northeastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, northern Wisconsin, and southeastern Michigan.
Crops continue to perform well in the region, with corn condition in the I-states of Illinois, Iowa and Indiana ranging from 74% to 82% good to excellent, according to the USDA. Soybean condition also remains steady at 72% good to excellent across the 18 states ranked in USDA's weekly estimates.
In southwestern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota, summer rains have brought conditions back to normal. Pasture and range is rated 52% and 68% good to excellent in Nebraska and South Dakota, respectively, USDA reports.
In west-central Oklahoma, above-average temperatures and short-term precipitation deficits led to expansion in areas of extreme drought and severe drought while rainfall this week helped to slightly improve areas of extreme drought and severe drought in the Panhandle.
In Louisiana and Texas, some areas received 5-10 inches, which helped to alleviate drought conditions. Light rainfall accumulations were observed in the Central Rockies, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Along parts of the western Gulf Coast of Texas, significant rainfall accumulations of 4-10 inches helped to improve drought conditions in areas of extreme drought, severe drought, and moderate drought, Simeral reports.
In Lake Charles, La., a summer rainfall record was broken with 36.90 inches reported by the National Weather Service in Lake Charles.
Much of the Northeast, the drought-free Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast remained relatively dry with the exception of some isolated showers and thunderstorms across portions of Florida and Georgia.
A continued hot and dry pattern in general across the region led to further deterioration in conditions across southern and eastern portions of Georgia as well as South Carolina and the Florida Panhandle.
In the west, dry conditions dominated, with the exception of some light, isolated shower activity in portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, the Drought Monitor said.
Improvements were made on the map in parts of the eastern Great Basin including one-category improvements in areas of severe drought in northwestern and west-central Utah, as well as northeastern Nevada where springtime and monsoon-season rains helped improve rangeland conditions, soil moisture, and streamflows.