Data: Most of Missouri under drought

10 months 3 days 17 hours ago Sunday, February 11 2018 Feb 11, 2018 Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:29:00 PM CST February 11, 2018 in News
By: Kevin Ko, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - It might be hard to tell with the ice, but recent statistics show most of Missouri is under drought conditions.

Data from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Although the most severe and extreme drought conditions are in the southern part of the state, mid-Missouri is seeing both "moderate drought" and "abnormally dry" conditions.

Statistics also show Missouri is seeing the worst drought conditions out of any state in the Midwest region.

Kelly Smith, the communications and drought resources specialists at the National Drought Mitigation Center, said deciding what to do against drought conditions is difficult and depends on where you live.

"Making the map, as much intense science as there is that goes into it, is actually the easy part. But then knowing what to do about drought is the harder part," she said. "That gets into a lot of different sectors, decisions and different groups of people involved."

She said many cities, towns and regions are prepared for dry conditions.

"In some places, you might want to start thinking about conserving water. But even in the worst areas, sometimes the local water supply is really locked-in with good reservoir storage and stuff like that. So immediate local effects might not be responding to these broad-scale, climatic conditions like we're mapping," Smith said.

She also said residents should contact their primary water providers to determine if they should take action.

"If you're in a city, you're probably getting your water from a utility. There's always local considerations that are important to take into account - this more of a high-level, broad brush of what's going on," she said.

Data is updated weekly on the United States Drought Monitor website.

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