The Drought of 2012 has continued to expand across the region, with exceptional drought now expanding into the lower Missouri River valley region. As you can see from the image below compiled by the Drought Monitor which is produced weekly, drought conditions in many areas have expanded from little to no drought to extreme and exceptional drought in fewer than two months.
How is the drought status determined though? This excerpt is taken from the folks who operate the Drought Monitor at the National Drought Mitigation Center
"Tracking drought blends science and art. No single definition of drought works for all circumstances, so people rely on drought indices to detect and measure droughts. But no single index works under all circumstances, either. That's why we need the Drought Monitor, a synthesis of multiple indices and impacts, that represents a consensus of federal and academic scientists. The product will be refined over time as we find ways to make it better reflect the needs of decision-makers and others who use the information."
One of the key aspects of drought is the substantial impact it can have at an economic level, including impacts in local communities and those with agricultural interests. While science is one of the main drivers of determining the drought status, its the impacts of the drought which help determine the accuracy of the drought status. This is where we're requesting your help. In an effort to better document the current drought and provide a comparison of drought conditions in 2012 as compared to those in previous years, we're asking for your help to provide us with impacts your experiencing from the drought. We're interested in hearing ground truth reports of the drought from everyone, whether it's an impact to your home and property (cracks, dead trees) or low water levels on lakes and ponds and rivers. For the farmers and those in the agricultural field, provide us your pictures of how the drought is impacting you. In your reports, please make sure to provide your location relative to a city and the county you reside in.
You have two ways to report your drought conditions to us. You can send us an email at: EAX Drought Report
You can provide a much more detailed report to the folks at the National Drought Mitigation Center's Drought Impact Reporter.
As we continue to move through the Drought of 2012, we thank you for assisting us in our efforts to document the drought as it happens. You can find the latest drought updates on our local drought outlook which is released each Thursday until drought conditions subside.