The remnants of Hurricane Isaac brought areas of the Midwest some relief, as the region welcomed the much needed moisture the storm brought to the rock-hard soil. Because states like Indiana, Illinois and Missouri received two to six inches of rain from this storm, their drought conditions have been downgraded. Missouri went from being in an extreme drought to being in a severe drought, and Indiana and Illinois are now in the severe or moderate drought category.
Unfortunately, the Plains and Rockies did not receive any rain from the hurricane. Because of this, the drought’s severity in this part of the country has increased. This land that is included in the drought upgrade is the region from southern South Dakota to northern Texas, a good majority of the Central and Southern Plains – areas that have incurred extremely hot weather with a lack of rain.
Iowa and Nebraska, two of the nation’s largest corn producers, missed out on the rain as well, causing drought conditions to worsen. About 62.89% of the U.S. is currently in moderate to exceptional drought, with parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota now considered in the category of exceptional drought. And Iowa is in the category of exceptional and extreme drought.
Unfortunately, it is a dry time of the year that will continue for the next couple of months. Because of this, the drought will intensify. Sadly, the worst drought in decades is expected over the next few months, according to the National Weather Service’s Seasonal Drought Outlook. This means that more agriculture claims will be submitted because crops may be beyond the point of salvage.
Although Hurricane Isaac brought rains, the rains were too late to save the summer crops, and much more rain is needed to eliminate this drought.