USDA on topsoil moisture ratings nationwide

Topsoil moisture ratings nationwide continue to reflect the dry summer conditions. USDA’s Rod Bain report the growing season is short on moisture in several states.

USDA topsoil moisture condition ratings for the period ending August 16th look like this-- 41 percent of the country’s topsoil rate short to very short moisture wise, and only 5 percent record surplus topsoil moisture.

According to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey, “Not terribly unusual to see the numbers skewed that way in late summer, but it’s certainly very dry at this point in several areas of the country.”

Rippey adds that most wetness is localized at this point: “In the Midwest for example, Minnesota leads 13 percent surplus. We have seen quite a few thunderstorms in the upper Midwest. The only other area of note, in terms of wetness, is along the Atlantic coast.”

With several states retaining surplus topsoil moisture from the recent visit of Hurricane Isaias, the larger takeaway is the rating for very short to short moisture, especially across the western half of the country.

“If you look at the West, every state, but Arizona, reporting topsoil moisture at least 50 percent very short to short, lead by New Mexico at 85 percent, followed by Colorado at 80 percent. As we move down to the Great Plains, the worst conditions are in the High Plains across the Southern Plains. Texas leads the heart of the plains by 73 percent very short to short,” Rippey notes. “In the Midwest, Iowa continues to lead with 56 percent very short to short... and then finally, we see dryness extending from the eastern corn belt and the lower Great Lakes region into the Northeast. Michigan coming in at 49 percent very short to short, Ohio at 48 percent.”

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