Nature can be so cruel. Southeast Missouri has received precious little rain during May and June, while Northern Missouri and Iowa have been pummeled with more rain than they can deal with. Just like in 1993, local crops are either drowning in Mississippi River floodwaters or shriveling in the dry heat.
The Dexter Daily Statesman reports that the weather station in Bloomfield received no measurable precipitation in June. Climate reports from the National Weather Service show that Poplar Bluff didn't fare much better with only 0.55 inches. The Cape Girardeau airport weather station measured 1.66 inches, but that total includes a couple of lucky isolated thunderstorms that bypassed most of Cape Girardeau County.
By comparison, St. Louis picked up 4.04 inches, slightly above normal for June. St. Joseph, Missouri, saw rain on 14 out of 30 days, for a total of 9.17 inches. Continuing to the north, Des Moines, Iowa, had 22 rainy days in June for a whopping total of 13.41 inches. Let's just say that number is above normal.
A really stubborn ridge of high pressure has been keeping us hot and dry for the last few weeks, pushing the rain to an axis through Oklahoma, Kansas, northern Missouri and Iowa. This heavy rain, combined with above average snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains, has kept the Missouri and Mississippi rivers running high.
The pattern might be starting to break down, with slight chances of thunderstorms possible all this week in Southeast Missouri. Still, the emphasis is on slight, with only a 20% or 30% chance each day (in other words, a 70% or 80% chance of receiving squat).
Longer range forecasts for July suggest a complete reversal is possible, with below average temperatures and above average precipitation for Missouri.
However, these forecasts were made in mid-June. We're already six days into July and the stubborn high pressure ridge hasn't budged yet.
If the pattern doesn't change soon, our dry weather will quickly turn into a full-scale drought. Southeast Missouri is already considered abnormally dry, the first stage depicted by the U.S. Drought Monitor. I'm not looking forward to the next stages, moderate drought and severe drought.