Drought conditions have reached the third, or next to worst stage in 30 Missouri counties, including Dade County in this area, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Dade County is listed as being in the drought conservation phase. In that phase, "streams are dry, river and lake levels are falling below what is expected to occur once every 10 years, soil moisture is approaching wilting point for plants and dry weather is expected to continue. Groundwater recharge has stopped. Water supplies should begin supplementing and conserving." The only worse stage is the emergency stage.
Counties in the second drought stage, drought alert, in this area include Jasper, Barton, Cedar, Lawrence, and Greene. Under drought alert, "plants begin to show stress, stream levels drop, and rainfall is below normal for many months. Pond levels begin to noticeably fall."
Counties in the first stage, drought advisory, include Barry, McDonald, and Vernon. That stage features "below normal rainfall has occurred for several months. This is the beginning of a county's monitoring by the Climate and Weather Committee of the Drought Assessment Committee."
Only nine counties are not under some form of drought alert, according to the news release. The DNR's Drought Information webpage can be found at: