Drought Monitor Weekly: Widespread Precipitation Continues

Summary

A large portion of the lower 48 states remains free of drought or abnormal dryness this week, including the entire Northeast and Midwest regions. Moderate drought coverage shifted in Georgia in response to precipitation patterns over the past week. Areas of short-term moderate drought were removed in Texas, where widespread moderate to heavy precipitation fell.

Severe drought in northwest New Mexico was reduced in coverage because of improved short-term conditions, though some long-term precipitation deficits remain in the area. Moderate drought was added in western Washington because of worsening short- and long-term precipitation deficits and low streamflow.

Widespread improvements to the drought depiction were made in Hawaii. The northern part of the drought area in southeast Alaska improved some, while severe drought expanded slightly to the south of its position last week in southeast Alaska. No changes were made this week in Puerto Rico.

Midwest

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The Midwest also remained free of drought or abnormal dryness this week, with Illinois and Missouri receiving widespread moderate to heavy rainfall amounts. Precipitation in the short term in western Iowa has been rather sparse, though this has not led to the development of abnormal dryness.

Southeast

This week, moderate drought shifted in coverage in parts of south-central and southwest Georgia. The changes were made where precipitation drought indicators shifted in response to precipitation amounts over the last week. Abnormal dryness was removed along the Florida east coast where precipitation alleviated short-term drought conditions, though some deficits remain in the long term.

South

Widespread improvements were made in Texas this week in areas that received moderate to heavy precipitation, such that no areas of moderate drought remain. With the heavy precipitation, the Brazos River is running high in north-central Texas, and minor to moderate flooding is a concern in parts of Texas. A small area of abnormal dryness expanded from northeast New Mexico into the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, where soil moisture has lessened in response to lower short-term precipitation and frequent hot and windy conditions.

High Plains

A small area of abnormal dryness developed in southwest Nebraska, far northwest Kansas, and a small part of northeast Colorado because of short-term precipitation deficits and low streamflow in the area. Abnormal dryness also has developed as a result of short-term precipitation deficits in the Laramie Range in Wyoming.

In North Dakota, abnormal dryness was extended slightly eastward in response to short-term precipitation deficits. Meanwhile, abnormal dryness in western North Dakota was removed in areas where long-term drought conditions had improved. Very wet conditions have continued in Kansas, and flooding is taking place in south-central Kansas.

West

Long-range drought conditions continued to improve in northwest New Mexico where vegetation is beginning to recover. Thus, severe drought coverage was reduced here, and it remains the only area of severe drought in the lower 48 states.

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Moderate drought developed in western Washington, and abnormal dryness also expanded here, in response to worsening short- and long-term precipitation deficits, low streamflow, and low soil moisture in some areas. Abnormal dryness developed in the Wind River Range in Wyoming and in the Jackson area in Wyoming.

Abnormal dryness was removed in northeast Montana, where long-term precipitation deficits had improved.

Northeast

The Northeast remained free of drought or abnormal dryness this week, as light to moderate precipitation overspread much of the region.

Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico

Widespread improvements to the drought depiction were made in Hawaii in areas where recent rainfall improved conditions. However, severe drought continues on the leeward areas of Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island.

The northern part of the drought area in southeast Alaska improved some, while severe drought expanded slightly to the south of its position last week in southeast Alaska. Drought conditions in the short term have lessened, so the area is now depicted as long-term drought. Impacts in Petersburg and Juneau have lessened, while Prince of Wales, Ketchikan, and Metlekatla are still primarily on diesel power because of low hydropower output.

No changes were made this week in Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead

Widespread moderate to heavy rain is forecast to continue over the next several days over parts of the south-central United States. The highest rainfall amounts are forecast to occur in southeast Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Precipitation is also forecast in parts of New Mexico that are still experiencing drought. Moderate precipitation amounts are predicted to fall across much of the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.

Dry weather is forecast in the Pacific Northwest. Primarily warm weather is forecast in the Northwest, while much of the Plains is expected to be cooler than normal, with moderating temperatures expected early next week.


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