The majority of Columbia County is in severe drought status with a very small area in moderate drought status, according to a map released July 5 by the United States Drought Monitor.
Lafayette County is split, with approximately half the county in moderate drought status and the other half in severe drought status. A small area of Miller County is in severe drought status, with the majority of that county in moderate drought status.
All of Hempstead County and all of Nevada County are in moderate drought status. The majority of Ouachita County is in moderate drought status, with a small area considered abnormally dry.
In Union County, there are areas of severe drought, moderate drought, abnormally dry, and no drought.
The majority of Calhoun County in no drought, with a small area in abnormally dry and a small area in moderate drought status.
magnoliareporter.com has recorded 24.59 inches of rain since January 1, including 0.98 inches in the first 10 days of July. That was the same total as for the entire month of June.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor report, most areas in the lower Mississippi Valley and southern Great Plains recorded little or no rainfall, with moderate to isolated heavy amounts limited to parts of central Oklahoma, western Texas, and the Louisiana Bayou. The rains brought regions of improvement (but not broad-scale relief) to western Texas, including the Big Bend. Farther north, a re-assessment of conditions led to some improvement being introduced in the Texas Panhandle (especially northern sections) and eastern parts of the Oklahoma Panhandle and adjacent western Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, the dry and hot week prompted substantial deterioration across central and eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and (to a lesser extent) eastern Oklahoma. As a result, moderate to severe drought became more widespread, especially in a swath from southern to northeastern Texas. San Antonio, Texas, reported just over 2 inches of rain for April-June 2018, compared to a normal of over 10.6 inches (third driest such period in 134 years of record).
Also, grass fires have become unusually common across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.
In southwestern Texas, to the north and northwest of Laredo, a broad area of extreme drought (D3) was introduced, with an area of exceptional drought (D4) introduced in part of this region along the Rio Grande River. Most of the new D3 area recorded only 2 to 4 inches of rain in the last 90 days, and 3-month totals of only 0.5 to 1.5 inches (with widely isolated higher amounts) were recorded in the new D4 region.
As of July 10, Carroll County is the only county to be listed under a burn ban by the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Columbia, Lafayette, Hempstead, Nevada, Miller, Union and Ouachita Counties are classified as moderate wildfire danger, with Calhoun County in low wildfire danger status.
The National Weather Service Office in Shreveport, La., is predicting a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday, with a 20 percent chance Wednesday night. Thursday's forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a 30 percent chance is predicted for Friday. A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast for Saturday, with a 20 percent chance for Sunday.