Snowpack off to a good start in northern Colorado, past week mostly dry across the western US #COdrought

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

The Plains

In the northern tier, a generally cool and dry pattern was observed over much of the Dakotas and Nebraska. Near-normal, short-term precipitation totals led to the removal of a small area of Abnormally Dry (D0) in eastern South Dakota. In the southern tier, eastern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma received two-to-four inches of rain late last week, but these rains fell in areas currently not experiencing drought. In southwestern Oklahoma, continued dryness led to the expansion of an area of Exceptional Drought (D4) in Harmon County. During the past week, temperatures in the southern tier were slightly above normal.

The West

During the past week, most of the West was dry with the exception of the Pacific Northwest where one-to-two inches of rain fell across the coastal lowlands of Oregon and Washington. Snow showers were observed over the high elevations of the Cascades, Northern and Central Rockies, and Intermountain West. According to the Natural Resource Conservation Service SNOTEL network, mountain snowpack conditions are off to a good start in Oregon, northern Idaho, southwestern Montana, Wyoming, and northern Colorado. Early season snowfall and improving moisture conditions led to one-category improvements in areas of Moderate Drought (D1) and Severe Drought (D2) in Wyoming, northeastern Utah, and northwestern Colorado. The vast majority of the West experienced below normal temperatures during the past week.

Looking Ahead

The NWS HPC 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for moderate to heavy precipitation across the Pacific Northwest. Mountain snow is expected in the northern Sierras (CA), Cascades (OR/WA), Sawtooths (ID), Bitteroots (MT), and Tetons (WY). Modest precipitation totals (less than 1.5”) are expected from eastern Texas extending northeast through the Mississippi Valley, Upper Midwest, and Northeast. The 6-10 day outlooks call for a high probability of above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures across the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and Northern Rockies. In contrast, above-normal temperatures are expected over the southern half of the United States with the exception of southern California. Above-normal precipitation is also expected across the Great Plains Midwest, and South Florida.

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