Drought conditions have worsened in a portion of the Midwest including Iowa, the nation’s leading corn producer, as the region experienced its hottest week of the year.
The extreme heat and near record low August rainfall combined to expand drought conditions from the eastern Dakotas southeastward into western Illinois.
Iowa saw its warmest week since July 2012, with highs topping 104 at Des Moines on Aug. 30.
About 98 percent of the state is in drought. Severe drought expanded to 32 percent of the state from 22 percent the week before.
Conditions are mostly unchanged in Nebraska and Kansas. While conditions in Eastern Kansas are returning to normal, much of Western Kansas is in extreme drought. Portions of extreme Southwest and Northwest Kansas are even more dry, and listed as being in exceptional drought.
The weekly drought monitor, which tracks conditions from Aug. 27 through Tuesday morning, shows 61.7 percent of the contiguous United States in drought, nearly the same as the week before.