Areas of extreme drought dramatically increased in just one week in Iowa and Illinois.
The updated U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday, July 26, 2012 shows extreme drought covers more than one-fourth of Iowa. None of the state was in extreme drought a week ago.
In our area, Cedar, Clinton, Jackson and northern Scott counties in Iowa are now in extreme drought.
In Illinois, conditions are even worse.
Seventy-percent of the state is now in extreme drought, up from about eight percent the prior week.
In our area, Jo Daviess and Carroll counties, along with western Lee County and most of Whiteside County, were listed in a state of extreme drought.
Just over seven percent of Illinois, in the southernmost counties, was listed in the worst drought, called “exceptional” by the USDA.
“We’ve seen tremendous intensification of drought through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansa and Nebraska, and into part of Wyoming and South Dakota in the last week,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and U.S. Drought Monitor author.
The forecast for most of the drought-affected area is for drought to continue to develop and intensify.
More than half of the United States remains in moderate drought or worse.
Get more info on the USDA drought monitor website at this link: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu