Click on a thumbnail graphic for a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:
A strong ridge over the west and a deep trough over the east dominated the weather this past week. Record high temperatures were recorded over much of the west, with many locations reaching temperatures in the 110 degree range during the week. The heat along with very dry conditions over the last 30 days has elevated the fire risk over much of the west. From the Midwest into New England, several storms tracked through the region, bringing rain to much of the area. Some areas of the Midwest recorded more than 5 inches of rain in the last week. Along with the rain, cooler than normal temperatures prevailed. Spotty convective precipitation was common in the southeast, where temperatures were above normal this week. Rain in Texas helped to keep this area cooler than normal for the week. Much of the central plains was dry and warmer than normal into the Dakotas…
This was a fairly dry week over the region, with just spotty precipitation along the foothills in Colorado, the Panhandle of Nebraska, and into southwestern South Dakota as well as west Texas. Except for the areas that received the most rain, temperatures were above normal in most places with departures of 2-4 degrees above normal. There were not any changes in the regional drought depiction this week…
Record heat and dryness over the region this week as well as over the last month has quickly deteriorated conditions in many areas after a wet May. A large degradation of drought in Montana was made this week with a full category change in the areas of western and north central Montana. In Washington, D2 was pushed to the west and D1 was added in the central portion of the state while in Oregon, D2 was expanded in the southwest and in the northeast into Idaho…
Over the next 5-7 days, a significant system will continue to push through the Tennessee River Valley, with the heaviest rains projected to be centered over southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and Tennessee, where amounts could surpass 5 inches. In general, it looks to be a fairly active summer pattern over the United States, with many areas having the opportunity for rain. The central plains (up to 1.40 inches), southern Rocky Mountains (up to 2.0 inches), and south Texas (up to 1.60 inches) look to be the areas of the greatest precipitation potential. With the rain potential, temperatures over most of the country are expected to be 3-5 degrees below normal. The Pacific Northwest is the anomaly as dry conditions are expected to continue and daytime high temperatures are expected to be 12-15 degrees above normal.
The 6-10 day outlooks show that the best chances for below-normal temperatures are over the high plains and Midwest. The greatest chances of above-normal temperatures will continue to be in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska as well as over much of the Gulf Coast and Florida. The greatest probability of above-normal precipitation will be from the Great Basin into the central plains and up into the northeast. Below-normal precipitation chances are greatest over the Gulf Coast and Florida, the northern high plains, and the Pacific Northwest.