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With the Dog Days of Summer Here, the Grip of Statewide Drought Tightens in Kansas and Missouri

Seasonal droughts are common in Missouri. Just three months away over 91% of the state was free of any drought classification. When summer approaches, severe conditions return usually first to central parts of the state, and into southwest Missouri. A different story in Kansas where the state has experienced month after month of extreme and exceptional drought thanks to a very mild winter.

The most recent National Drought Monitor Map was released last week.

Kansas and Missouri nearly mirror each other in the lack of precipitation. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Three weeks into summer and the seasonal drought conditions in Missouri continue to worsen. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center over 98% of the state is in one of the five levels of drought.

Compare that to just three months ago when fewer than 9% of Missouri was in any of the drought categories. A large swath of Central Missouri extending to Vernon and Barton’s counties are considered to be in extreme drought where ponds and wells dry up; large lakes and reservoirs are extremely low; mandatory water restrictions are implemented.

Drought conditions are worse in Kansas where over 7.5% of the Sunflower state is in exceptional drought and nearly 40 percent of the state is in extreme drought.

Between Missouri and Kansas, a combined 6.4 million residents reside in drought conditions.

There is little drought relief insight this week with mainly sunny skies for southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas and highs in the ‘90s. For 89 9 KRPS News, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.