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It's hot. High temperatures and a lack of rain have brought about the country's widest-ranging drought since the 1950s. The entire state of Missouri has been declared a federal disaster area, along with 82 counties in Kansas. Crops are struggling to survive, and so are cattle farmers who can't feed their livestock.

Drought Hits Northern Missouri, Again

Drought conditions are again plaguing the northern half of Missouri, according to the latest U.S. drought monitor report.

Right now, a large portion of north central Missouri is experiencing severe drought, with most of the rest of northern Missouri is in moderate drought. 

Anthony Artusa is with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center at the University of Maryland.

“In fact, northern Missouri has been like most of the surrounding states in that area,” says Artusa.  “Only very recently over, say, the past couple of weeks, a rapid deterioration in the drought conditions and crop conditions there.”

Artusa adds that the current long-range forecast shows a slightly better chance for precipitation over the next three months. 

“There is a slight tilt in the odds towards wetter than normal conditions across northern Missouri, and indeed across a large part of the Midwest and the lower Mississippi valley,” says Artusa.

Artusa says one upside to the current drought is that the dry ground will make it easier for farmers to harvest their crops. 

Meanwhile, the southern half of Missouri is NOT in a drought, in part due to recent heavy flash flooding.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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