If January can be summed up in one word for much of the nation’s heartland, it would be “dry.”
The few weak storm systems coupled with extreme hot – and cold – temperatures created the perfect storm for varying levels of drought, ranging from abnormal dryness to moderate drought, to creep back into the heartland.
The region’s drought intensity may fall far short of meeting California’s excessive drought conditions, but they spark renewed concerns of drought in 2015.
According to this week’s Drought Monitor, more than 50 percent of the following states are currently experiencing abnormal dryness or worse drought: Kansas (99 percent), South Dakota (51 percent), North Dakota (68 percent), Minnesota (98 percent), Texas (59 percent) and Oklahoma (95 percent).
Abnormal dryness was also reported in Nebraska (28 percent), Iowa (45 percent), Wisconsin (18 percent), Missouri (40 percent) and Illinois (41 percent).