Storms brought precipitation across many drought-affected areas this week, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.
Much of Nebraska, Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle are still experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, though significant rains helped conditions this week. One-category improvements were made in areas that received more than an inch and a half of rain.
Precipitation in the Southwest has been relatively steady. The Drought Monitor reports that the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System maps show precipitation in that area totaling 150% to 400% of normal. Drought expanded slightly in parts of New Mexico.
Up the West Coast and inland, rains exceeded 5 inches at many reporting stations and improved conditions were noted across the northern Rockies and Western Montana as a result.
Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin received significant rains, providing a one-category improvement across much of the region, though some of southern Wisconsin didn't receive as much rain and therefore did not improve.
In the Corn Belt, Iowa remains under extreme drought conditions, with large portions of Missouri and Illinois experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions.
Recent rains have also benefited Ohio and Indiana. Both states are classified largely in the abnormally dry or moderate drought category.
Along the East Coast, abnormal dryness is limited to the Carolinas, while exceptional and extreme drought are confined to Central Georgia.
Wet patterns are expected in northern states for the rest of the week. "Particularly wet" conditions, the Drought Monitor notes, are expected in the Pacific Northwest and from the Tennessee Valley to the Great Lakes. The Southeast, Southwest and Rockies will likely miss out on the rain.