Weather experts say Missouri is experiencing its driest winter in more than 40 years, worsening a drought that started last summer.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that that from September through January, Missouri recorded average precipitation 8.3 inches. The normal average is 15.9 inches. From November to December, Missouri averaged 30 percent of its normal 1.91 inches of precipitation.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the drought is worse in east-central, southeastern and south-central Missouri, with northern Missouri also including several areas of long-term dryness.
In 1953-1954, Missorui had a drought that lasted 16 consecutive months.