The latest edition of the U.S. Drought Monitor confirms what we've already known: Southeast Missouri is experiencing an "exceptional" drought, the worst category of drought.
All of Missouri is now rated as "severe" or worse, with more than two-thirds considered "extreme." Just over 8% -- that would be us -- is painted as exceptional.
The long-range forecast is not encouraging, with the latest three-month outlook showing the same pattern: above average temperatures, below average precipitation.
In the short term, we might see some rain this afternoon and again on Monday. We're presently included in a Slight Risk zone for severe thunderstorms today, with high winds the biggest threat, followed by large hail. The risk of tornadoes seems to be confined to a small area in New England.
Today's rainfall projection shows a quarter to a half inch of rain for Southeast Missouri. During our drought, however, these projections have tended to be overdone. Some areas will get lucky, but I'm not holding my breath for any significant rain today.
We're still under an Excessive Heat Warning for one more day, but the ridiculous heat should ease somewhat after a "cold" front arrives later today. It's only going to be a few degrees coolor this weekend and next week, but we'll take anything we can get.
So far we've had 12 days with triple-digit temperatures at Cape Girardeau, and we haven't even made it to the Dog Days of August.