More than 75% of the contiguous U.S. remains in some form of drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.
Drought is still concentrated in the Plains, where much of the region remains in extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. The Northern plains saw drought expansion in North Dakota and South Dakota. Oklahoma, however, received "significant precipitation," prompting a one-category upgrade.
Texas received a one-category upgrade as well, with rains reaching the panhandle and west-central regions. Moving east, some portions of Colorado saw improvements while the abnormal dryness crept into the Northwestern portion of Oregon.
Bean harvest is moving steadily in the Midwest this week, as little precipitation prompted action in the field. Drought conditions did expand, however, in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Ohio Valley received heavy rain, upgrading drought conditions significantly.
In the Southeastern and Atlantic states, light-to-moderate rain prompted improvements and even lifted D0 conditions from West Virginia and portions of Pennsylvania.
In the next five days, dry weather is expected for much of the lower 48, the drought monitor reports.