#Drought news: Monsoon moisture may benefit the central Rockies over the next week

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


This week, most of the western and northern portions of the country recorded below-normal temperatures while most of the south was above normal. Active weather from the central plains into the Midwest brought above-normal precipitation over much of the region while the dryness intensified over the south and into the Gulf Coast…

High Plains

Most of the region was cooler than normal this week, with departures of 2-4 degrees below normal from northern Kansas into the Dakotas. Areas of southern Kansas and eastern Colorado were 2-4 degrees above normal for the week. Above-normal precipitation was confined mainly to portions of northern and eastern Kansas, western and central Nebraska, western and eastern South Dakota and western North Dakota, with departures of up to 3 inches above normal observed over north central Kansas. With the cooler conditions and recent rains, D0 was removed from most of Nebraska and northwest Kansas with D1 improving in Kansas as well. In the Dakotas, D0 was removed from southeast North Dakota and northeast South Dakota as well as north central South Dakota. The remaining D0 in east central South Dakota was shifted to include more of the agricultural areas west of Sioux Falls…


Cooler than normal temperatures dominated the west this last week. Most areas were normal to 5 degrees below normal for the week, with only areas of southeast New Mexico 5-10 degrees above normal. Monsoonal moisture continued to push into the southwest and into portions of Utah and Nevada. Some areas of Arizona were 2 inches above normal precipitation for this week. With the scattered rains, improvements were made to the D2 in southern California as the last several monsoons have been beneficial to this region and precipitation values are near normal over the last 3 years. Improvements were also made in northeast Utah where D1 improved to D0 this week. Continuing on the improvements started last week over northern Nevada, D2 conditions were pushed to the west, improving the D3. Nevada also showed the return of D4 in the west central portion of the state. The earlier rains in the region that allowed for D3 have since subsided and the impacts are again present, especially in the agriculture and ranching communities, allowing for D4 to expand this week. In Washington and Oregon, D3 conditions were pushed to the west as low flows on rivers and streams and warm water temperatures are impacting the region. In Idaho, D3 was expanded in the northern portion of the state where conditions continue to worsen, while some improvement to D2 was shown in the southeast as recent rains helped the region…

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, the monsoonal moisture in the southwest is anticipated to remain in place, bringing with it up to an inch of rain over portions of New Mexico and Arizona. Some of this moisture will push up into portions of the Great Basin as well as the central and northern Rocky Mountains, where up to an inch of rain is anticipated in parts of Utah and Colorado. The active pattern will remain over the high plains and Midwest, where 2+ inches of rain are anticipated in portions of northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. The southeast will see more moisture, especially along the coastal regions where up to 3 inches is projected. Temperatures are expected to be above normal over the west, the southern plains, and the eastern third of the United States, with departures of 3-6 degrees above normal. The high plains and northern Rocky Mountains look to be 3-6 degrees below normal during the next week.

The 6-10 day outlooks show that most of the country has the potential to have good chances of above-normal temperatures, with the greatest probability over the west coast and from New England into the Mid-Atlantic. The exception to this is the high plains and Rocky Mountain region, where the best chance of below-normal temperatures is expected. The eastern half of the United States has the expectation of above-normal precipitation during the period while the area from California into the Great Basin is projected to have the probability of below-normal precipitation.

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