National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Briefing Page
Updated: 8/16/2018



Severe to extreme drought has continued to exapnd portions of central and northeastern Missouri over the past few weeks. The Missouri Governor declared a Drought
Alert for the following counties: Boone, Callaway, Cole, Knox, Lewis, Moniteau, and Monroe. Exceptional drought (D4) conditions have also greatly expanded across portions of northwestern Missouri, and has also been introduced across portions of central parts of the state.




Below is a list of observed precipitation including the departure from normal for
selected sites in Missouri and Illinois. The list includes information from local
airports and cooperative observers since June 1st.  


Jun 1 - August 14, 2018 Precipitation

(Departure From Normal) 

Official Observations


St. Louis (KSTL)


Columbia (KCOU)


Quincy (KUIN)


Cooperative Observers


Canton L/D 20 (CANM7)


Farmington (FARM7)


Hannibal (HNNM7)


Highland (HGHI2)


Monroe City (MNCM7)


STL Science Center (SSCM7)


Shelbina (SLBM7)


Salem (SLOI2)


Saverton L/D 22 (SVRM7)


NWS Office Weldon Spring (LSX)


The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly collaborative effort between a number of federal agencies including NOAA/NWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Details and explanations of the Drought Monitor can found at the web site:

The categories of drought are defined as follows:

Abnormally Dry (D0) - Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures; fire risk above average. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits; pastures or crops not fully recovered.

Moderate Drought (D1) - Some damage to crops, pastures; fire risk high; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent, voluntary water use restrictions requested.

Severe Drought (D2) - Crop or pasture losses likely; fire risk very high; water shortages common; water restrictions imposed.

Extreme Drought (D3) - Major crop/pasture losses; extreme fire danger; widespread water shortages or restrictions.

Exceptional Drought (D4) - Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; exceptional fire risk; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells, creating water emergencies.


Soil Moisture Conditions:
Currently, the largest soil moisture deficits stretch from the Missouri/Kansas
border into portions of northeastern Missouri.  The lack of rainfall is causing
soil moisture to gradually worsen during what is normally the wettest time of
the calendar year.
 Total Moisture Storage

Additional information about soil moisture conditions can be found at the NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Web Site at:

or at the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) at:

Agricultural Impacts:
Agricultural impacts include worsening crop conditions and poor pastures.
According to the latest United States Department of Agriculture, soybean
condition was rated 15% very poor and 22% poor in the state of Missouri, with
corn 21% very poor and 24% poor. Pasture condition was 39% very poor and
37% poor. 
Supply of hay is 42% very short and 36% short, with stock water supply 29%
very short and 30% short. Short supplies of hay and water, in addition to grass,
has let to problems feeding and watering area livestock.

Additional information on agriculture impacts may be viewed at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) web page:


River and Stream Flow Conditions:
Rainfall totals over the past week were highly variable across eastern
Missouri. Heaviest totals of 1-2+ inches fell across east-central and
southeastern Missouri. Meanwhile, central Missouri experienced very 
little rainfall, with many locations under a quarter of an inch.
7-day average streamflows remained below the 20th percentile
on the Salt River at Hagers Grove, the North River at Palmyra, and 
Bear Creek at Hannibal. Some improvement was observed however where
heaviest rains fell including on the St. Francis, Little St. Francis, and 
Cuivre Rivers.

Well depths in northeastern and central Missouri exhibited small
recoveries a few locations, though most were close to the lowest
values of the year, generally reached within the past couple of
weeks.  Wells over southeastern Missouri continued falling to new
low levels for the year.



map legend

Hourly and forecast river stages out to 90 days can be found at the National Weather Service's (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) web page:

Additional Current stream and river stages may be viewed at the following USGS Web Site:

Fire Danger Hazards:

The current KBDI:
Central and Northeastern Missouri: HIGH TO EXTREME

The worsening conditions are causing increased fire weather concerns, particularly across portions of central and northeastern Missouri.

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is a drought index that is specifically related to fire potential. The KBDI is broken into four categories which indicate the susceptibility of ground fuels to fire danger. Below are the four categories and a brief description of each.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)
KBDI Value
Description of Fire Potential
0 to 200
Low - Wet with little danger of fire initiation
201 to 400
Moderate - Drying occurring with some fire danger
401 to 600
High - Ground cover dry and will burn readily
601 to 800
Extreme - Dead and live fuels will burn readily

KBDI and Dead Fuel Moisture data can be found on the Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) web site at:

Precipitation/Temperature Outlooks:

The outlook for the next two weeks calls for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.  If this cooler and wetter pattern were to occur, this may help ongoing drought conditions. 


For updated temperature and precipitation probabilities consult the following Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Web Sites:

8 to 14 Day Outlook

30 Day Outlook

90 Day Outlook


Questions or Comments:

If you have any questions or comments about this information please contact:

Jayson Gosselin
Climate Services Focal Point 


Mark Fuchs
Service Hydrologist

National Weather Service - St. Louis
12 Missouri Park Drive
St. Charles, MO  63304
(636) 441-8467


Our most recent Drought Information Statement (DGTLSX) is available at:


Other Contacts:

For state climate impacts:

Missouri State Climatologist:

Illinois State Climatologist:



The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA’s national weather service and national climatic data center, the USDA, state and regional center climatologists and the national drought mitigation center. Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites, cooperative and volunteer observations, USDAFS, the USDA and USGS.




Related Websites :



U.S. Drought Portal:



Missouri DNR Drought Page:

Illinois Water Survey Drought Pages: