#Drought news: East of the Rockies — abnormally warm weather, rainfall sparse

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


East of the Rockies, abnormally warm weather prevailed again, and rainfall was sparse outside of the Great Lakes Region, The Midwest, Florida, and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Dryness and drought eased in some of the limited regions receiving moderate to locally heavy rain, but persistence or intensification was much more common.

Significant changes were made in areas where the warm, dry pattern has persisted for multiple weeks. D0 was broadly expanded in a broken pattern across the mid-Atlantic, The Northeast, and The Ohio Valley while widespread intensification occurred in most areas of dryness and drought from eastern Texas to western Mississippi…

Northern and Central Plains

As in some other parts of the country, abnormally warm and dry weather over the past 1 to 2 months led to a swath of D0 in the central Plains, primarily across Nebraska, northern and western Kansas, and eastern Colorado. Most of the new D0 region received less than half of normal rainfall in the last 30 days and/or 50% to 75% of normal since early July…

The Rockies, Intermountain West, and Pacific Coast

Moderate to heavy precipitation fell on parts of the Pacific Northwest, central and northern Idaho, and western Montana. Many areas reported 0.5” to 2.0” of precipitation, some sites reporting 3” or more in northwestern Washington and northwestern Montana.

Moderate to locally heavy rain was less extensive across central and southeastern Arizona, but a number of sites reported over 0.5 inch, and isolated amounts reached 2 inches in the central Highlands and near the Mexican border.

Elsewhere, almost the entirety of California, Nevada, and Utah was devoid of measurable precipitation.

In the northern tier of the West and in southern Arizona, rainfall was mildly beneficial, but fell on areas where drought was entrenched or intensifying in recent weeks, and was not enough to bring any categorical improvement. Across the central tier of the West, cooler weather kept conditions from deteriorating despite the dry week. No changes were made anywhere from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean…

Looking Ahead

For the upcoming 5-day period, September 10-14, 2015, at least moderate rainfall (o.5 inch or more) is expected across most of the South and East. Specifically, from southern and eastern Texas, the Mississippi/Ohio Rivers’ Confluence, and the eastern Great Lakes Region eastward. Between 2 and 3 inches are forecast for coastal and south-central New England, southeastern New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and eastern Maryland. Farther west, much of interior West Virginia, the Maryland Panhandle, and southwestern Pennsylvania should also receive 2 inches or more. To the west, eastern Kansas and western Missouri are expected to see 1 to locally 2 inches, but areas to the west and north of the central Great Lakes Region, the central Great Plains, and western Texas can expect less than 0.25 inch, save for scattered locations in the southern Rockies and northwesternmost Washington. A return to above-normal temperatures is expected from the High Plains westward to the Pacific Coast, with temperatures topping out 9oF to 15oF higher than normal from the Great Basin and San Joaquin Valley northward through the Intermountain West. Meanwhile, daily high temperatues will average a few degrees below normal from the central and southern Appalachians to the central Plains.

The odds favor a return to subnormal precipitation for the ensuing 5 days (September 15-19, 2015) from the Appalachians and Ohio Valley eastward to the Atlantic Coast from Georgia northward through New England. There is also a lesser tilt of the odds toward below-normal precipitation in west-central California and across western Texas and the southern High Plains. In contrast, wetter than normal weather is expected throughout Alaska and in the Pacific Northwest, Desert Southwest, Rockies, northern and eastern Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, and southern Florida Peninsula. Warmer-than-normal weather is anticipated from the High Plains eastward to the Atlantic Coast, except near the central Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley. Meanwhile, cooler weather is expected to settle back into the northwestern quarter of the country.

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