Drought Monitor: Southern Plains See Drought Relief

The Southern Plains saw drought relief over the last week, according to the latest Drought Monitor released Thursday. Still, much of the rain arrived too late to rescue winter wheat, though rangeland, pastures, and summer crops greatly benefited from the soil moisture improvements. In Texas, rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition by the Department of Agriculture improved from 51 to 36 percent during the week ending May 21. On the same date, topsoil moisture was rated less than one-third very short to short in Texas and Oklahoma.

Still, despite abundant showers and thunderstorms, pockets of extreme to exceptional drought persisted in western and central Texas and across the northwestern half of Oklahoma. Farther east, most areas remained free of dryness and drought, aside from a few areas in the central Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, variable rainfall extended westward into the central and southern Rockies and eastward to the southern Atlantic Coast.

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