Drought Monitor Weekly: Southeast, Southwest Remain Dry

Summary

Precipitation this past week was most active in the southern Plains and the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast, helping to ease and improve drought in those regions. Some precipitation also occurred in the South and portions of the Midwest, but the Southeast and Southwest remained dry through the week.

For the time of year, temperatures were well below normal over most of the country, with departures of 9-12 degrees below normal in the Dakotas. Portions of the Southeast and Southwest did have pockets of above-normal temperatures, but even those areas were close to normal.

Southeast

Another dry week over much of the region, with only pockets of precipitation over southern Alabama into western Georgia and western North Carolina. What helped was that temperatures were below normal through much of the region too, with only areas of the Carolinas being 2-3 degrees above normal for the week. The wet season has been slow to arrive in Florida, with many locations having a significantly dry May.

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In North Carolina, moderate drought was expanded over the north central portion of the state with abnormally dry conditions expanded over the west. Severe drought was introduced in the southern part of North Carolina while some isolated intense rain allowed for some improvements to moderate drought over coastal North Carolina.

For South Carolina, a new area of severe drought was introduced along the northeast portion of the state with abnormally dry conditions expanded in the south and west. Georgia had an expansion of abnormally dry conditions in the east while a new pocket was added in the south central portion of the state.

Abnormally dry conditions were expanded over far northwest Alabama as well as in central Florida. In south Florida, moderate drought expanded as well as abnormally dry conditions.

South

Much of the region had abundant precipitation during the week with many areas recording over 200 percent of normal rain. Along with the precipitation, cooler than normal temperatures were widespread with most areas 3-6 degrees below normal for the week. The ongoing wet pattern allowed for continued improvements over most of Texas during the week, with most areas having a full reduction of the previous drought intensity level.

Southeast Oklahoma had moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions removed while portions of western Oklahoma also had abnormally dry conditions improve.

Midwest

Cooler than normal temperatures dominated the region this week with most areas 2-6 degrees below normal. Dry conditions dominated Iowa, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin into the upper peninsula of Michigan, and southern portions of Indiana and Ohio.

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In the northern portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, improvements to abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions were made in response to a series of rain events. Severe drought was expanded in northern Illinois and into southern Wisconsin.

Abnormally dry conditions were expanded over portions of southern Indiana, southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky and southwest Kentucky for the week. Areas of abnormally dry conditions were improved over southern Illinois and northern Missouri while an expansion of these conditions was made in southeast Missouri.

High Plains

Temperatures were 4-6 degrees below normal, with even greater departures in the Dakotas where some areas were 8-10 degrees below normal for the week. Much of eastern Colorado, southern Nebraska, Kansas and northwest South Dakota into southwest North Dakota received well over 150% of normal precipitation for the week.

In Nebraska, abnormally dry conditions were improved over the north central, southwest and extreme southeast portions of the state while moderate drought expanded over northeast Nebraska. Severe drought was introduced over southeast South Dakota, with an expansion of moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions too.

Southern Kansas and eastern Colorado had improvements to abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions while Wyoming had a mix of improvements and degradations to moderate and severe drought in the state.

West

The warmest temperatures in the region were over California and Nevada, where departures for the week were 3-6 degrees above normal. Most of the rest of the region was near normal for temperatures.

Most of the West was dry for the week but eastern New Mexico and western Montana received enough precipitation to allow for some improvements to their drought status. Impacts are building in the region with water cutback anticipated on Lake Mead as it is currently 37% full and fell below the critical 1,075-foot level triggering cutbacks to Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico.

Abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions were improved over western Montana while New Mexico had a large area of exceptional drought improve due to recent rains. In Washington, conditions continue to dry out, and abnormally dry and both moderate and severe drought conditions continued to expand.

Northeast

Temperatures in the Northeast were below normal for the week, with departures of 2-4 degrees below normal widespread. Precipitation was significant, especially along coastal regions from Delaware up to Massachusetts where 200-300 percent of normal precipitation was recorded, although the northern portions of the region were dry.

The cooler temperatures and significant rains allowed for some improvements this week and a couple of areas had some dryness introduced. Abnormally dry conditions were added in northern New York as well as in eastern Maine with ongoing dryness in these regions. Improvements to abnormally dry conditions were made across eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, southern New York and western Connecticut.

In the Mid-Atlantic, abnormally dry conditions also improved over Delaware, Maryland and portions of northern Virginia. Due to ongoing dryness, moderate drought was expanded over most of central Virginia and abnormally dry conditions were expanded over eastern sections of West Virginia.

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, it is anticipated that much of the West as well as the central Plains will remain dry. The southern Plains and portions of the Carolinas are expected to see the most rain. Warmer than normal conditions are supposed to dominate the West and into the northern Plains, with departures of 12-15 degrees above normal in portions of California and Nevada.

Cooler than normal temperatures are expected over the southern Plains and South in response to the anticipated rain.

The 6-10 day outlooks show the majority of the country has above normal chances of recording temperatures above normal during the period with the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and into the Northeast having the greatest likelihood.

Cooler than normal temperatures are expected over Alaska, the West Coast, and into the southern Plains. It is anticipated that dry conditions will continue to dominate the Plains and West with the highest likelihood over the Great Basin.

The greatest odds of above normal precipitation will be along the Mississippi Valley and into the southern Plains.




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