The area defined under severe drought in North and South Dakota is growing, according to the latest drought monitor released Thursday. The severe drought area is growing as excessive heat has further depleted soil moisture and further stressed rain-fed crops, pastures and range lands.
In North Dakota, extreme drought conditions increased from 30 percent to include nearly 36 percent of the state during the past week. More than half of North Dakota now lies within an area of severe drought, and 35 percent of the state was listed under extreme drought.
Nearly all of South Dakota remains in a classified drought status, with roughly 41 percent of the state in severe drought, and 10 percent in extreme drought. The latest drought monitor shows 22 percent of Montana in extreme drought, with another 37 percent of the state in severe drought. Much of those conditions remain in the eastern half of the state. Meanwhile, 71 percent of Nebraska is classified as abnormally dry, and 47 percent of Iowa is classified as abnormally dry, as well.