Showery weather across the southern half of the Plains provided additional drought relief, following the previous week’s major storm.
Still, much of the rain arrived too late to rescue winter wheat, although rangeland, pastures, and summer crops greatly benefited from the soil moisture improvements.
Following the previous week’s substantial drought relief, mostly dry weather returned across the High Plains. However, locally heavy showers continued in parts of eastern Colorado and southern and western Kansas, leading to some additional reductions in the coverage of moderate to exceptional drought (D1 to D4).
By May 21, Nebraska led the U.S. with rangeland and pastures rated 55% very poor to poor, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On the same date, Nebraska led the High Plains with topsoil moisture rated 58% very short to short, followed by Kansas at 52% and South Dakota at 36%.
Much of the recent rainfall has bypassed eastern sections of South Dakota and Nebraska, with some increase in drought coverage noted in the latter state.