Drought news: Warm June but no change in drought status for Colorado over the past week

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

Summary

A strong frontal system passed through the eastern half of the country at the beginning of the Drought Monitor period, with another system toward the end. Much of the southern Midwest and into the Tennessee Valley received significant rains from these two events, bringing with them drought relief. The Pacific Northwest remained very warm and dry all the way into areas of western Montana. Scattered convective precipitation was observed over much of the southeast and central plains and into New England…

Great Plains

Mixed precipitation patterns, which are common for this time of year, brought good precipitation to portions of South Dakota and northern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, most of Oklahoma and into the panhandle of Texas. These areas were 1-3 inches above normal for precipitation for the week. Areas of North Dakota, central and western Kansas, and central and south Texas were below normal for precipitation this week. Temperatures were below normal for most of the southern plains, while most of northern areas, especially along the western high plains, had above-normal temperatures, with departures of up to 2 degrees above normal. In response to the rains this week and a wetter pattern over the last several weeks, a full category improvement was made to the D0 and D1 conditions in South Dakota and Nebraska this week, leaving behind a small area of D0. No other changes were made, but it was noted that parts of central to western Kansas were drying out; those areas are in need of some precipitation or the drought status will need to show the worsening conditions…

West

Most of the region was warm during the last week with temperatures 9-13 degrees above normal in the Pacific Northwest and 3-4 degrees above normal over most of the rest of the region. Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California all had their warmest June ever (121 years of data) while Nevada had their second warmest, Wyoming their fourth warmest, and Montana their fifth warmest. There was light precipitation scattered throughout the region, with the greatest amounts generally in portions of the southwest. Washington had their third driest June and Oregon their ninth driest June ever. The heat and dryness in the Pacific Northwest led to intensification, which is being introduced this week. The D0 in western Oregon was changed to D1 while in Washington, D2 was expanded in the west and eastern portions of the state and D0 was replaced by D1 in the east. It has been noted that so far, municipal water supplies for the metropolitan areas of western Oregon and Washington are adequate even though the other indicators are showing intense drought development, especially over the last two months. In Montana, D3 was introduced in the west while D2 expanded to the east. In the north central portions of Montana, D1 and D0 were expanded slightly. These changes were mainly in response to the rapid short-term degradation and the impact to agriculture in Montana…

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, precipitation chances look to remain the greatest over the Midwest, where 2-3 inches of rain is forecast from Illinois to Ohio. Rain chances over the west, particularly over northern California, northwest Nevada, southern Oregon, and central Idaho and into the Rocky Mountains, looks to increase, with up to 2 inches possible. The northern plains looks to remain on the dry side as well as the southeast and most of Texas. Rain chances along the Gulf Coast and into Florida look favorable, with amounts up to 1 inch over most areas. Temperatures are forecast to be cooler than normal over much of the west and Midwest while warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected on the plains and in the southeast.

The 6-10 day outlooks show that much of the country has high chances of above-normal temperatures. The greatest chances of above-normal temperatures appear to be over the southeast, Alaska, and the northern plains. Precipitation chances are greatest over the eastern third of the country and the northern plains while the best chances of below-normal precipitation appear to be in the southern plains.

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