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Winter Storm Could Provide Some Short-Term Drought Relief In Missouri

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The winter storm that dumped several inches of snow and ice across much of Missouri may bring some short-term relief to the state’s drought conditions.

Kelly Smith is Director of Marketing and Commodities for the Missouri Farm Bureau.  He says the winter storm arrived on the heels of recent rain events, helping saturate the soil.

“This snow is gonna slowly melt into the ground," Smith said.  "We will get some runoff from it in some areas because they got a 10 to 13-inch snow…we had areas in our state as high as 13, maybe even 15, inches up in north of (the) Kansas City area.”

Smith says it takes about 10 inches of snow to equal one inch of rain, but adds that any moisture at this time is good.

“We were dry up until about 45 days ago, and then we’ve started getting some rains," Smith said.  "A good thing about this is every time we get something right now back-to-back, it’s saturating the soil.”

Smith says, though, it’ll provide little, if any, long term drought relief.  He says for that to happen, Missouri needs enough saturating rainfall for runoffs to fill up ponds, streams, and other bodies of water.  Meanwhile, another storm system is expected to bring both rain and snow to Missouri early next week.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.