Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 13, 2012

Drought unchanged for third week

MATT MILNER
CNHI

OTTUMWA — Iowa showed no shift in drought conditions last week according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the third consecutive week with the same assessment.

Iowa's drought has remained static since the report dated November 27. The monitor releases the reports two days after it concludes the week's data collection, so there is a slight difference between when the report is released and the period it covers.

In fact, there is stunningly little change in the entire Midwest. The past several weeks show some easing of drought conditions, but that improvement is limited to the eastern portions of the region.

National numbers are also fairly static. More than 60 percent of the contiguous U.S. is in at least moderate drought. Nearly half of the country is suffering from severe drought.

The worst of the conditions is in the central United States. In Nebraska, 77 percent of the state is rated in the exceptional drought category, the most severe level. Kansas and Oklahoma are also hard hit, but neither has even 40 percent of their territory in the exceptional category.