#Drought news: Colorado remains #drought-free, D0 (abnormally dry) west of the Great Divide

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought monitor maps for June 23, 2015.

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

Great Plains

Light to moderate rainfall, on the order of 0.5 to 1.5 inches, fell on most of the dry areas in the Plains, though little or no rain fell on dry areas from northern Kansas into southeastern New Mexico. A second week of significant rainfall led to reductions in the extent of D0 and D1 conditions in southeastern South Dakota and adjacent Nebraska, and there was further reduction in the D0 area still lingering in central Texas. Otherwise, conditions remained essentially as they were last week…

The Rockies To The West Coast

Little precipitation fell from the Rockies westward to the Pacific Coast last week. Overall, there was little change in conditions except along the northern tier of states from Montana westward through Washington and Oregon. Continued dryness and exceptionally hot weather kept dryness and drought increasing most significantly across eastern Washington, central and northern Idaho, and western Montana. The entire state of Washington is now covered by D0 conditions or worse, and D2 was pulled northward along the Oregon coastline, and expanded across a large part of central Idaho and adjacent Montana. These areas recorded generally 6 to 12 inches less precipitation than normal in the last 6 months, and less than half of normal amounts in the last 60 days. In contrast, recent heavy precipitation in west New Mexico and adjacent northeast Arizona led to additional improvements in these areas despite the dry week…

Looking Ahead

For the upcoming 5-day period (June 25-29), hot and dry weather should prevail west of the Rockies’ front range, except in parts of the desert Southwest. Little if any precipitation is expected, and daily high temperatures from Utah and Nevada northward through the northern Rockies and Intermountain West will average 9 to 18 degrees F above normal, with even higher departures possible along the east side of the Cascades. Near normal temperatures and light to moderate precipitation are forecast for the Plains and southeastern Rockies, with over an inch of possible in the higher elevations of south-central Colorado and adjacent New Mexico. Light to moderate rain is also expected across the Great Lakes and northern New England, along with cooler than normal temperatures (daily highs should average 3 to 6 degrees F below normal). Moderate to heavy rainfall, generally exceeding an inch, is expected from the Midwest, Ohio Valley, and lower Northeast southward through the Gulf Coast and Florida. Over an inch of rain is anticipated everywhere except parts of Florida, with 2 to 5 inches potentially falling on the Ohio Valley, central to northern Appalachians, and mid-Atlantic region.

For the ensuing 5-day period (June 30 – July 4), continued above normal temperatures are favored in most of the West and across the Gulf Coast and southern Atlantic regions, including Florida. Meanwhile, the odds favor anomalously cool weather from the Plains eastward through the upper Southeast, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, and interior portions of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Drier than normal conditions are favored across Florida and in a swath from the northern Plains to the Pacific Northwest. Enhanced chances for above-normal precipitation cover a large part of the rest of the contiguous 48 states, excepting California, the central Gulf Coast, and in a stripe from the northern Intermountain West eastward through the Dakotas and Minnesota, south of the area where subnormal precipitation is favored. Warm weather is anticipated over most of Alaska, with enhanced chances for above normal precipitation identified outside the Panhandle and east-central parts of the state.

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