With ample snowfall, fast melting and subsequent rainfall, the U.S. Drought Monitor is beginning to reflect the changes in estimated soil moisture. The monitor reading on February 1 revealed the lowest total coverage of drought since June of 2023. A storm track in the southern U.S. brought heavy precipitation to much of the most drought-affected areas including the Midwest.

This storm track proved significant as El Niño conditions, which cropped up last summer, are generally less likely to produce above-normal precipitation for the central part of the country. The improvement in drought coverage has not been this rapid since March of 2023. Large areas of the U.S. have even seen at least four categories of drought improvement. More precipitation is expected throughout the month.

Read more on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor reading here.