From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is each Tuesday at 8 a.m. EDT. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
On this week’s map, areas of Severe Drought (D2) and Extreme Drought (D3) expanded across eastern Montana, south-central North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota where hot and dry conditions persisted. In northwestern South Dakota, South Dakota State University Extension staff reported poor pasture and range conditions as well as deteriorating crop conditions (corn). In eastern Montana, hot and dry weather continued to deteriorate pasture, rangeland, and crop conditions as temperatures soared above 90 degrees. On July 1st, the National Weather Service Office in Glasgow, Montana reported several dry precipitation records were broken for Glasgow including: the driest May and June (0.72 inches) since 1918; the driest April, May, and June (1.24 inches) since 1918; and the driest January through June (2.75 inches) since 1983. According to the USDA for the week ending June 25th, topsoil moisture (percent short to very short) is as follows: Montana - 69%, Nebraska – 56%, North Dakota – 53%, and South Dakota – 63%. In the southern Plains, areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) were reduced in eastern and southern portions of Oklahoma where heavy rainfall accumulations were observed with some localized accumulations in south-central Oklahoma ranging from 8 to 10 inches. Across most of the region with exception of western portions of the Dakotas, average temperatures were slightly below normal (1 to 4 degrees).