Latest U.S. Drought Map Shows 65 Percent of the Country Experiencing Dry Conditions, Causing Major Concerns For Winter Wheat FarmersThu, 15 Oct 2020 15:08:37 CDT
Degradation and persistence of drought conditions were common in many areas of the High Plains, Rocky Mountain and West regions according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report.
Above normal temperatures coupled with below normal precipitation continue to write the script for a challenging fall and winter season in agriculture country.
For example, 100 percent of Kansas is now covered in some shade of drought with western and southwestern Kansas suffering the most.
Kansas is not alone as most states from here west are in similar dire straits.
Also, the far northeastern U.S. continues to suffer from drought that has persisted much of this year.
Nationwide, almost 65 percent of the country is experiencing some degree of drought, which is 2 points more than last week and 13 points more than three months ago.
Interestingly, one year ago 60 percent of the country was drought free, so the tables have flipped 180 degrees from this time last year.
To view the latest U.S. drought map, click here.
Closer to home, about 60 percent of Oklahoma is suffering from some degree of drought, with extreme drought (D3) continuing to plague parts of western and southwestern Oklahoma.
This is about a 13-point increase from last week.
The Oklahoma Panhandle and north central Oklahoma have just experienced the driest 30-day period in the past 100 years.
During the past few days single-digit humidity for many Oklahomans has resembled desert-like conditions.
Winter wheat producers are growing increasingly concerned about dry conditions. More than half the crop has been planted, much of it has emerged but drought could kill the young plants.
Hope for abundant winter wheat pasture is fading fast.
Meanwhile, some wheat producers are holding off planting, hoping for a good rain.
To view the Oklahoma drought map, click here.
Looking ahead, there is some short-term relief showing up on the forecast maps.
To view the 6-10-day temperature outlook, click here.
To view the 6-10-day precipitation outlook, click here.
However, La Nina has arrived and that does not bode well for much long-term relief.
To view the drought outlook map for October 15 to January 31, click here.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Map is developed through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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