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Stuck in the middle: total drought area shrinks as Missouri gets worse

(via National Drought Mitigation Center)

Extreme drought conditions in Missouri have worsened even though nationwide the total area affected by this year’s severe dry weather has decreased slightly. That’s according to this week’s report from the US Drought Monitor.

The portion of the country facing any level of drought decreased a point to about 63 percent. Meanwhile, about 93 percent of Missouri is in an extreme to exceptional drought.

National Drought Mitigation Center climatologist Brian Fuchs says Missouri’s Boot Heel is suffering the most while counties along the Iowa border have fared the best so far.

“We’ve had a lot of rain that has come through that has been spotty and amounts haven’t been that great," Fuchs said. "So, even with the rainfall that has come through the area, in many instances has not been enough to stave off intensification.”

More than half of all US counties have been declared natural disaster areas due to the record-breaking dry spell. Those include all of Missouri’s 114 counties and the city of St. Louis. According to US monitors, moderate or worse drought conditions are expected to persist in the Midwest through October.

Follow Joseph Leahy on Twitter: @JOEMIKELEAHY

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