Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:
A significant upper-level trough over the central part of the contiguous U.S., accompanied by a slowly moving cold front, brought up to several inches of rain across the eastern and southern states during the past week. The cold front reached the Eastern Seaboard and continued out over the western Atlantic, while the southern portion of this front stalled across the deep South. Later in the week, another upper-level trough moved out of central Canada across the northern High Plains of the United States, before heading east and bringing additional rainfall to the eastern contiguous U.S. In the Southwest, light to moderate precipitation (generally less than 1.5 inches) was observed in association with the summer monsoon. In the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, the USDA Forest Service reported approximately 40 large wildfires in progress as of August 26th, as warm and very dry weather persisted…
Northern and Central Plains
Abnormal dryness (D0) in eastern Montana was expanded south-southwestward due to the ongoing lack of precipitation. No changes were rendered to the depiction in Kansas, as rains that did fall during the week missed the residual D0 area in the northwest part of the state…
Southwest and California
Light to moderate rain (generally less than 1.5 inches) fell across southern sections of both Arizona and New Mexico. In New Mexico, no changes were made to the drought depiction. However, the counties of Curry, Roosevelt, and Lea, in eastern New Mexico (bordering Texas) are being monitored after a fairly dry August (so far) and soil moisture observations. No revisions were considered necessary this week in either the Southwest or California. An Associated Press report (dated August 20th) notes land in central California’s agricultural region is sinking quickly because of the state’s historic drought. This is forcing farmers to spend millions of dollars upgrading irrigation canals, and putting roads, bridges, and other infrastructure at risk. The extent of Short to very Short topsoil moisture for the state of California as a whole, is generally around 80 percent, a decline of about 5 percent since last week…
For the upcoming 5-day period, August 27-September 1, attention will be focused on southeastern Florida, which may experience very heavy rainfall early next week in association with what is currently Tropical Storm Erika. Preliminary forecasts from the National Hurricane Center in Miami strengthen Erika to a hurricane either this Sunday or Monday, as it bears down on the southeastern Florida coast. However, Erika is still 4-5 days away from Florida, and its track and intensity may change significantly by then. In the desert Southwest, up to an inch of rain is predicted to fall during this period, which would at least help to offset additional deterioration in many areas. Several inches of precipitation are anticipated across the coastal ranges and Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, an area that could certainly use the moisture. Up to several inches of rain are also forecast for portions of the Midwest/Upper Midwest/Upper Great Lakes region. Depending on exactly where the rain does fall, some reduction in drought coverage is possible.
For the ensuing 5-day period, September 2-6, chances for above-median rainfall are elevated across the Southeast, due to the anticipated approach of Erika near the beginning of the period. Above-median rainfall is also favored across the northwestern and north-central portions of the lower 48 states, in advance of an upper-level trough. Odds for below-median rainfall are elevated across portions of the Northeast, and the southwestern and south-central CONUS. In Alaska, above-median precipitation is favored for much of the northern and western sections of the state, while below-median precipitation is favored along the southern coast from about Kodiak Island to Juneau.