Meteorologists: Don’t say ‘goodbye’ to drought just yet

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Cool and wet weather across the Midwest this spring has many people thinking that the drought is over.

Not so fast…

According to the meteorologists at Planalytics, the drought may hang on in many of the areas already significantly impacted.  

“Currently, the Equatorial Pacific is cooling, so there is no indication of an El Niño event (which is typically associated with a wetter and cooler pattern for the U.S.),” Fred Gesser, senior business meteorologist, told those attending a webinar on Wednesday.

With current sea surface temperatures, there’s about a 70 percent chance of La Niña or neutral conditions, Gesser said, which could spell dry conditions this growing season. “The deck is stacked toward La Niña, which we associate with drought,” he said.

Jeff Doran, another senior meteorologist at Planalytics, summed it up this way: “We believe the drought will not only remain, but have a chance to intensify as well.”

The highest risk of drought is in the Plains states from Texas to the Dakotas with much of Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri affected, as well, according to a map that the meteorologists showed during the webinar.

The Eastern Corn Belt and Southeast appear to be in better shape, with high amounts of soil moisture already in place.    

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