February 25, 2024

The drought situation in the St. Louis area has been holding steady, with river levels at an average, but upcoming storm systems are bringing potential for improvement. If there’s above-normal precipitation in the following week, it could improve the drought situation. Late Monday into Tuesday, significant precipitation is expected, which may bring anywhere from one to two inches of precipitation, benefiting the soil and groundwater given the colder temperatures. The heavier precipitation will also lead to some runoff and a slight improvement in river levels without causing any major issues for the navigation industry in St. Louis. National Weather Service Senior Service Hydrologist Mark Fuchs reassures that the current river levels, while low, are not a cause for concern at the moment. He adds that the Mississippi at St. Louis is at the 55th percentile of all flows typically seen on January 5th. This is a positive sign for the area. The wetter weather in the upcoming days presents the possibility for improvement in the drought monitor classifications. Fuchs also explains that the colder air in the winter significantly reduces evapotranspiration rates, which means that any precipitation will be a net gain for the area.

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