The new weekly drought monitor is out and it includes some changes.
The map shows worsening drought conditions across many areas of the Midwest. This update does not include Wednesday's rainfall, but shows where rain is needed the most.
Moderate drought conditions are now reported in Buffalo area in the northwest, Rapid City and much of the Black Hills region, and a new area expanding from northern Nebraska into south-central South Dakota. Other, dry areas have been noted east toward Yankton, but are not shown on the larger outlooks right now. Dry conditions in northeastern KELOLAND have improved this week and will likely be noted in next week's report.
However, KELOLAND is doing much better on average than other parts of the country. Drought is getting worse to our west and south in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
Drought is also a concern in much of central Iowa and a large portion of central Illinois, where severe drought conditions are now in place. The same holds true for the eastern corn belt into Indiana.
These areas of drought to our south are concerning. The official drought outlook from the climate prediction center just issued Thursday morning is forecasting those two drought areas to merge and develop into southeastern KELOLAND, including the Sioux Falls area the next 30 to 90 days. This means every chance of rain will be important going forward, especially the outlook Friday night and Saturday.