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Snow brings ‘some improvement’ to Missouri’s ongoing drought conditions

A sheep took the expression ‘top of the food chain’ literally after the area’s second snow storm. Farmers with livestock were in the weather feeding and caring for their animals, and faced added expense in providing hay and other feed as snow covered grazing areas. The sheep pictured were near the intersection of Highways 10 and C. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

A sheep took the expression ‘top of the food chain’ literally after the area’s second snow storm. Farmers with livestock were in the weather feeding and caring for their animals, and faced added expense in providing hay and other feed as snow covered grazing areas. The sheep pictured were near the intersection of Highways 10 and C. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

By David Knopf/Richmond News

After a second storm dropped as much as 11 inches of snow on the area – a total of more than 20 in less than a week – a glimmer of hope concerning an end to the drought emerged.

Call it the first positive comments since Hurricane Isaac’s aftermath drenched the area in late August, saving a good percentage of late-planted soybeans.

Combined with heavy rainfall in late September, the snow cover prompted the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center to upgrade Missouri from its “Drought to Persist or Intensify” category to one slightly better – “Drought Ongoing, Some Improvement.”

While the language is restrained, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and portions of several other Midwestern states received enough moisture to brighten the outlook.

“No doubt, we’ve seen improving drought conditions across Missouri over the past few weeks,” said Pat Guinan, the Extension and State Climatologist for the University of Missouri’s Commercial Agriculture Department.

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