JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order declaring a “drought alert” in the state late Wednesday, enabling resources after an abnormally dry stretch of weather.
According to the National Weather Service, much of Missouri is dealing with some drought concerns heading into June.
Several counties just to the east of the Kansas City area, including Warrensburg and Sedalia, are in an extreme drought stage. That extreme stage continues out to Boonville, Columbia and Jefferson City in mid-Missouri.
Many of these counties have already experienced major crop and pasture losses, and the risks for fire danger and water shortages could be a bit more heightened.
Closer to the Kansas City metro, some parts of Jackson, Cass and Lafayette counties are in a severe drought stage.
Other Missouri counties in the metro — and even several on the Kansas side — are in a moderate drought stage. That means there could be some damages to crops and pastures, along with a high risk for fires and possible water shortages.
FOX4’s Weather Team said the latest drought report from Thursday morning does not take into account the rainfall from Wednesday.
The latest drought report follows a notably dry May for most of Missouri and the Midwest.
Kansas City recorded 4.4 inches of rain in May, but the average for the month is 5.32 inches, data shows. Last year, Kansas City saw almost double the rain with 8.4 inches in May 2022.
There could be a little relief coming to the Kansas City area.
FOX4’s Weather Team is expecting scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday afternoon, Friday and possibly Saturday. But drier days return after that with a string of sun and temperatures in the upper 80s.
On Wednesday, Parson signed an executive order as the first step of Missouri’s drought plan. The order activates a committee to assess drought conditions and make recommendations of action to the governor’s office.
Some solutions in the past have included a hay lottery program, opening public waters for livestock and easing hay hauling restrictions.
“With the summer months fast approaching, we want to be proactive to help mitigate the impacts of drought conditions we are experiencing,” Parson said.
“Missouri farmers and ranchers often bear the brunt of the consequences of drought, and we are already starting to see early effects on crops and livestock. While we cannot control the weather, we are committed to doing everything we can to alleviate the strain drought causes for our agricultural families and protect our food supply chains.”
Missouri residents are also encouraged to submit information about local drought conditions online.