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MISSOURI WEATHER

Missouri drought relief - April showers bring recovery

Missouri drought relief - April showers bring recovery


By Blake Jackson

Heavy rains over the past two months have significantly improved drought conditions in Missouri. After facing dry spells in 2022 and 2023, concerns were high early this year. However, April brought a much-needed turnaround.

State climatologist Zack Leasor reports that April saw statewide rainfall exceeding normal levels by over two inches, making it the 15th wettest April on record. This abundance of rain led to significant improvements in soil moisture and streamflow. By mid-May, only 1% of stream gauges showed below-normal flow, compared to 58% in early April.

While the rain benefited agriculture, the timing wasn't ideal for all farmers, making planting and fieldwork challenging. Groundwater recovery is also lagging behind overall improvement, though some progress has been made since April.

The good news is that as of May 14th, only a small portion (17.98%) of Missouri faces abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions. This is a dramatic improvement from just six weeks ago when over two-thirds of the state was classified as such.

The wet weather is expected to continue through May, with a high chance of above-average precipitation predicted for June. However, Leasor cautions that Missouri remains more vulnerable to drought this year compared to usual.

This vulnerability stems from the long-term dryness earlier in 2024 and the potential shift from El Niño to La Niña in the Pacific Ocean. La Niña can bring warmer and drier conditions to the central U.S. during summer.

While Missouri has seen a welcome shift, long-term vigilance is crucial to ensure the state's agricultural health.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-neenawat555

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Categories: Missouri, Weather

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