COLUMBIA - Northern Missouri experienced a flash drought in the last 10 days of August according to Pat Guinan, University of Missouri Extension climatologist.
A U.S. Drought Monitor map released last week showed that about 12 counties are in a severe drought and moderate drought conditions are covering the rest of northern Missouri. The mixtures of minimal rainfall, high temperatures, low humidity, and almost cloudless skies have made this drought potentially historic.
"If there is no significant rain Saturday, August will be the driest August across northern Missouri since 1984. Records will be set at some locations," said Guinan.
Due to the cooler conditions earlier in the summer most of the crops were in good condition before the drought.
"July through mid-August remained pleasant. Daytime highs hit the 70s and 80s. It was our coolest summer since 2009," Guinan says.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor map, the driest area are from Worth County on the Iowa border eastward beyond Kirksville. The drought extends south beyond Cameron and Macon.
The sudden drought might remind some of the drought that went across the Midwest last year. In 2012, the lack of rain in May was joined by the warmest spring and the 11th-hottest summer on record. But this drought has affected fewer states and hasn't lasted as long.
Guinan operates the Missouri Climate Center, part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture Program. He oversees a network of automated weather stations across the state.