Drought conditions across central Kansas weakened in the past week, but more counties along the Missouri border are now considered abnormally dry. USDA’s weekly drought monitor indicates the most improvement in Hodgeman, Ness and surrounding counties, which moved from severe to moderate drought conditions. Moderate drought is no longer present in Barton, Cowley, Pratt and Sumner counties, abnormally dry conditions are no longer present in a majority of Osborne, Rooks and Russell counties to the north. Areas south of the Arkansas River between Wichita and Kinsley have also exited pre-drought stage.
However, moderate drought has appeared in Cheyenne and Rawlins counties, while no change was reported to the worst drought conditions present in southwest Kansas. Areas of abnormal dryness in eastern Kansas have expanded to line eight counties bordering Missouri, while also joining the dry patch that extends west into Dickinson and Marion counties. Overall, 28.3 percent of Kansas is in some stage of drought, while another 31 percent has abnormally dry conditions.