Central and Southern Plains: Numerous and widespread showers and thunderstorms, including many cells that became severe with tornadic activity (e.g. Joplin, MO), dropped copious amounts of rain (2 to 10 inches) on parts of northeastern Texas, most of Oklahoma (except the Panhandle), much of Kansas (except the southwest), Nebraska (and northward), and parts of Colorado. Needless to say, many areas of drought (D0 to D4) were improved by 1-category, and in some places, by 2-categories, especially where more than 4 inches fell.
In Texas, eastern sections were improved by 1-category where 1.5 inches or more rain was measured as the rains should improve forage grass growth and conditions. In northeastern Texas along the Red River, a 1-category improvement meant that some locations were finally out of drought (D-nothing). In east-central Texas (e.g. Robertson County), less improvement was made as hydrological conditions were worse than other areas to the north and east. In northern Texas, 2 to 3 inches of rain along the Oklahoma border eased drought by 1-category, but farther west near Childress, D4 remained as deficits were large, and rainfall totals were less. Where little or no rain fell (southern and western Texas), D4 was expanded into Brazoria, Bexar, and Wilson counties. USGS stream flows continued to be in the lower tenth percentile in southern and south-central Texas, but improving to near-normal in the northeast. According to USDA/NASS, Texas winter wheat was rated 76 percent poor or very poor, while similarly-rated pastures and ranges stood at 73 percent.
In Oklahoma and Kansas, one and even some two-category improvements were made where the amounts were the greatest. In Oklahoma and Kansas, a 1-category improvement was made to any D0-D3 area that received 1.5 inches or more, and a 2-category swing was made where rainfall exceeded 4 inches. In southwest Oklahoma where 2 to 6 inches fell, only a 1-category improvement to the D4 area was made as soils were so dry (down to at least 8 feet) that time is needed to see if the soil moisture recharge holds out. In Harmon County, the rains (1 to 2 inches) did little to moisten the soil profile except to the top 2 inches, and this area remained in D4. Where little or no rain fell on western sections of Oklahoma and Kansas, drought persisted, and in some instances increased. D4 was expanded northward into Ellis and Harper counties where no summer crops are expected following the failure of the winter wheat crop. In the Panhandle, D4 was increased in Cimarron and Texas Counties as less than 40 percent of normal precipitation has occurred over the past 180 days. USDA/NASS winter wheat and pasture conditions rated poor and very poor for Oklahoma were 80 and 42 percent, while Kansas was 55 and 36 percent.