The easing heat this week has provided promise to many suffering from intense temperatures and lack of rainfall, but it wasn't enough to turn things around as much of the country remains in D2 (severe) to D4 (exceptional) drought.
Despite relieving rains from Iowa to Ohio, reduced yields and earlier harvest times are affecting many of the corn and soybean producing states. The latest crop condition report reflects this, as corn condition remains poor with only 23% rated as good to excellent.
In the Midwest, the rain did improve some areas from Iowa, Illinois and Indiana into Ohio and Michigan. Many of the D3 (extreme) drought areas throughout the Midwest remained.
The southeast also saw some rains that alleviated drought conditions this week. D0-D3 ratings were reduced in many of the southeastern states including Alabama and South Carolina. Georgia's midsection remained nearly covered in D4 conditions. Minor changes were noted in many of the surrounding states.
Increasing intensity in the South and Southern plains contributed to growth of the exceptional drought area throughout Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri. Lack of rainfall provided increased D1-D3 areas in Texas, but the state has been able to avoid much D4 action.
In the Western U.S., drought generally expanded in Colorado and Idaho. Wildfires continue to plague the area.
In the coming week, meteorologists at the National Weather Service estimate increased precipitation in the South, Southeast and East Coast. In the West and up to the Northern Midwest, there are some chances of rain. Below normal temps are also projected for the Eastern half of the U.S., while the Western half will experience above normal temperatures.