Drought has returned to Missouri.
The U.S. Drought Monitor now places more than half the state in its “abnormally dry” category and most of northwest Missouri is rated as in “moderate” drought. This, after none of the state was categorized by the drought monitor at the beginning of the month.
Meteorologist Ryan Cutter says the state began drying out in June and there is no meteorological reason he can point to as a cause.
“Nothing really great out there, there’s no large-scale signal … for example El Nino, La Nina … that I would necessarily attribute this to here in this portion of the country.”
This drought is setting in much later than in 2012, when the first “moderate drought” categorization appeared in early May. Cutter says the later onset doesn’t mean that this drought couldn’t reach the severe or extreme levels of last year.
“It’s more than just simply has it rained or has it not rained, because they’re looking at indications of the plants and other environmental indicators across the region to determine whether or not a drought has really set in.”
Cutter says a normal amount of rain for the summer would be enough to keep Missouri from reaching those levels of drought, and as little as a couple of inches soon could mitigate drought in the short-term.
Fortunately, Cutter says, there is some rain in the forecast for next week.