Rain brings drastic drought improvement to region

Wet weather helps fill farm ponds across parts of Missouri and Illinois.

ST. LOUIS -- Widespread rainfall of three to six inches during President's Day week put a big dent in the drought situation across parts of Missouri and Illinois. The waves of heavy rain caused some flooding along the smaller rivers, especially across southeast and east-central Missouri.


Much of the area had been in severe to extreme drought with rainfall more than a foot below average since June of 2017.

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The heavy rain replenished soil moisture and filled ponds used by livestock on area farms. Streams and rivers were at low levels before the rain. Rapid rises along the smaller rivers brought mostly minor to moderate flooding.

With regular rainfall through the next few months, remaining drought conditions are expected to improve. The spring outlook from the Climate Prediction Center has increased chances for above average rainfall across eastern Missouri into Illinois.

This is what the drought conditions looked like before last week's rain.