Drought conditions remain steady yet severe across much of the Midwest

Drought conditions across the upper Midwest remained steady over the last week, but still at severe, extreme or even exceptional in some areas of the region.

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Rain that fell toward the end of May certainly did not end the drought, WDAY meteorologist Jared Piepenburg says.

"That helped out a little but not enough for how dry it is," he said.

Drought conditions across the Upper Midwest remained steady over the last week, but still at severe, extreme or even exceptional in some areas of the region, according to this week's U.S. Drought Monitor released June 3, valid for June 1.

Extreme drought conditions continue to plague areas of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Nearly 60% of North Dakota is currently categorized in an extreme or D3 drought, with 17.68% of the state in the highest drought rating on the U.S. Drought Monitor – Exceptional or D4.

Temperatures Thursday were spiking into the 90s in the region on Thursday, with even hotter temperatures expected into the weekend. But Piepenburg said there may be some precipitation in the forecast: Both major forecasting models are showing a possibility of showers or thunderstorms once the heat moves to the east next week. Piepenburg said that could provide "hopefully a little help with how dry things are in our area."


North Dakota drought map released June 3, as of June 1. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Here is a state-by-state look at this week’s drought monitor:

Iowa : Iowa’s drought conditions were relatively unchanged from last week. Severe drought conditions came in at 7.62%. Moderate drought conditions are at 29.46%. Abnormally dry conditions came in at 25.03%.

Minnesota : Like most other states, Minnesota’s total were also unchanged. Severe drought is at 0.18%. The state’s moderate drought rating is at 13.27%. The state is under the abnormally dry rating in 59.76% of land, with 26.76% not experiencing drought conditions.

Montana : Montana’s results were relatively unchanged from last week, with 15.56% of the state in extreme drought. Severe drought consists of 15.13%, while 23.55% is under a moderate drought. Abnormally dry conditions cover 27.67% of the state, with just 18.10% of the state not experiencing any drought conditions.

Nebraska : Nebraska has enjoyed a nice decline in drought condition rates over the last few weeks. The Cornhusker State has just 4.34% in moderate drought and 26.15% is abnormally dry. Most of the state, 69.55% of the state, is not experiencing drought conditions.

North Dakota : Conditions in North Dakota were unchanged from last week, with 17.68% still in exceptional drought, 59.03% of the state in extreme drought, 16.28% in severe drought, 5.87% in moderate drought and 1.14% in abnormally dry conditions.


South Dakota : After extreme drought conditions were cut in half in South Dakota last week, the state saw little change in overall drought conditions. The extreme or D3 rating is at 10.38%. Severe drought conditions increased from 22.50% to 27.01%. Abnormally dry conditions accounted for 39.68% with abnormally dry conditions at 18.05%.

Wisconsin : Wisconsin added about 5% to its severe drought condition rating over the last week, to bring its total to 5.09%. Acres experiencing no drought are at 49.33%. Abnormally dry conditions came in at 25.57%. Moderate drought conditions are at 20.02%.

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