Both improvements and degradations in drought conditions occurred this past week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Severe drought (D2) was introduced in northeastern Nebraska, and moderate drought (D1) and abnormally dry (D0) conditions were expanded in southeastern South Dakota. D1 expanded slightly in the tri-state area of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. As for improvements, D1 and D0 conditions were reduced in southern and eastern Kansas, central Nebraska, and western South Dakota.
According to the August 4th USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, pasture conditions improved in several states but continued to degrade in Wyoming and Colorado. The percent of pastureland rated poor to very poor was 53% in Wyoming and 41% in Colorado. Winter wheat harvest is ahead of the 5-year average in all states and is completed in Kansas. Corn conditions are, for the most part, faring well across the region except for Colorado, where 25% of corn was rated as being in poor or very poor condition.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10 day outlook has increased chances for above-normal temperatures across most of the High Plains except for western Wyoming. Increased chances for above-normal precipitation are present across much of North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota, while increased chances for below-normal precipitation are present in Colorado, Wyoming, the majority of both Kansas and Nebraska, and southwestern South Dakota. The National Weather Service’s 7-day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast predicts that some precipitation will occur in all states, with the greatest amounts expected in eastern North Dakota.