Drought News: South Platte River basin drought-free from stem to stern #COdrought

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

This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw heavy showers and thunderstorms across the Central Plains and portions of the Upper Midwest as well as along the central and western Gulf Coast. Rainfall accumulations in the Central Plains and Upper Midwest were heaviest across Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska with some areas receiving in excess of six inches. The combination of above-average summer rainfall accumulations in many areas and short-term gains (seven-day accumulations) led to improvements in drought-affected areas of Kansas and Nebraska. Along the central and western Gulf Coast, locally heavy rainfall fell across coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas with some areas receiving five-to-ten inches helping to improve drought conditions in southeastern Texas. Meanwhile, much of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast remained relatively dry with the exception of some isolated showers and thunderstorms across portions of Florida and Georgia. Temperatures were well above average for the week across Texas, the Southern Plains, Midwest, and portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Out West, light rainfall accumulations were observed in the Central Rockies, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In the Southwest, monsoonal rains began to taper off across the region. West of the Continental Divide, dry conditions dominated…

The Plains
Drought conditions continued to improve across portions of Kansas and Nebraska this week as heavy rains increased soil moisture conditions and streamflows. Rainfall amounts were highest across eastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska where accumulations ranged from three-to-six inches leading to one-category improvements in areas of Severe Drought (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1). In southwestern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota, summer rains have brought conditions back to normal. In west-central Oklahoma, above-average temperatures and short-term precipitation deficits led to expansion in areas of Extreme Drought (D3) and Severe Drought (D2) while rainfall this week helped to slightly improve areas of Extreme Drought (D3) and Severe Drought (D2) in the Panhandle. During the past week, temperatures were above normal in the Southern Plains while Northern Plains temperatures were below normal…

The West
During the past week, conditions were generally dry across most of the West with the exception of some light, isolated shower activity (<2 inches) in portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The Far West, Great Basin, and Intermountain West were dry, however. Improvements were made on the map in parts of the eastern Great Basin including one-category improvements in areas of Severe Drought (D2) in northwestern and west-central Utah, as well as northeastern Nevada where springtime and monsoon-season rains helped improve rangeland conditions, soil moisture, and streamflows. In the mountains of northeastern Nevada and south-central Idaho, snowpacks were below normal for the Water Year (since October 1st); but total precipitation amounts at Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL sites (observational stations that measure snow water content, snow depth, accumulated precipitation, soil moisture, and air temperature) in these areas show that Water-Year-To-Date accumulated precipitation is near normal or normal. In this region, lingering hydrologic impacts persist as reservoirs remain well below normal. In northwestern, west central, and southwestern Utah, monsoon rains improved soil moisture and rangeland conditions according to the August 25, 2014, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Utah Crop Progress and Conditions Report. In northeastern Utah, northwestern Colorado, and southwestern Wyoming, summer rains helped to improve conditions leading to one-category improvements in areas of Extreme Drought (D2) and Severe Drought (D1). During the past week, temperatures were above normal in the Far West and below normal across the eastern half of the West…

Looking Ahead
The NWS WPC 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for moderate-to-heavy rainfall accumulations (two-to-five inches) across the Desert Southwest, Southern Rockies, Central Plains, Upper Midwest, Southeast, and lower Mid-Atlantic regions. Late in the period, a plume of subtropical moisture is forecasted to move into the Southwest bringing potentially heavy rains. In the Far West, dry conditions are forecasted to persist across California, the Great Basin, and most of the Pacific Northwest. The 6–10 day outlooks call for a high probability of above-normal temperatures across the Far West, Southern Plains, South, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic while below-normal temperatures are forecasted across the Central Rockies, Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and New England. Temperatures across much of Alaska, including western, south-central, and southeastern regions are forecasted to be above normal. Regarding precipitation across the conterminous U.S., a high probability of above-normal precipitation is expect across the Southwest and the eastern half of the U.S. Below-normal precipitation is expected across the Pacific Northwest and western Alaska while precipitation in southeastern Alaska and the eastern half of Interior Alaska is forecasted to be above normal for the period.

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