National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center: The April 21 U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook is hot off the presses

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The La Niña present during the 2010-11 winter led to expansive drought development across the lower Mississippi Valley, southern Plains, and Southwest. During the past month, drought conditions have worsened rapidly across Oklahoma, Texas, and southern New Mexico. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), parts of Texas are designated in the exceptional drought (D4) category. Since the CPC monthly or seasonal outlooks favor enhanced odds for below median precipitation and above normal temperatures, persistence can be expected in eastern Colorado, the southern high Plains, the Southwest, and much of Texas/Louisiana. Development in parts of Arizona is related to low snow water content values and a relatively dry climatology. Prospects for improvement increase in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Across the Southeast, drought reduction has occurred since the beginning of March. Some improvement is forecast across the interior Southeast, while odds increase for improvement across Florida due to a wet climatology beginning in late May. It should be noted that short-term worsening of drought conditions may occur in Florida prior to the onset of the wet season. Some improvement is forecast across the Hawaiian Islands. Outside of the drought areas depicted on the USDM (April 21), monthly/seasonal tools offer no strong signal for dryness. This lack of a dry signal coupled with antecedent wetness favors little or no expected development through the end of July.

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