The image above tells the tale. Areas shaded in brown are currently under moderate drought conditions. While to the south, in the darkest shade of brown near the border, severe drought conditions are reported. This is quickly becoming a dangerous situation that may only get worse if we don’t see a steady amount of rain and soon.
There are indications that this situation could worsen with long-range models forecasting above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. This is due in large part to the position of the jet stream, which is well into Canada.
In fact, that’s where all the storm chasers have been, leaving the United States in search of greener pastures for tornadoes. It’s a weather pattern not seen in some time and revives fears of a situation similar to the Drought of 1988. That drought affected such a large area that it caused more losses than any other natural disaster in American history. No one’s saying we will see something as severe this time around, but it certainly bears watching.
If this drought continues it won’t just be farmers taking a hit, but the rest of the public as well. Water restriction and other changes might be forced upon communities in order to prevent the wells from running dry. Some rivers in northeast Iowa are already reporting record low levels and this will bear watching as well.
The only saving grace in terms of comfort is we could break our heat wave a bit by next week. But that doesn’t mean the rain that we need will follow. This is certainly a dangerous situation that we will continue to monitor.