#Drought news: Abnormal dryness (D0) increased over eastern #Colorado in areas where 60-day <=50% of normal

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

Summary

Although increasingly wet weather has been noted over parts of the East, any rain falling after Tuesday morning (8 a.m., EDT) will be incorporated into next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor. For this week’s analysis, above-normal temperatures prevailed across much of the country, though heavy rain and near-normal temperatures were observed over parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast. In addition, moderate to heavy rain was noted in western portions of the Corn Belt. In contrast, protracted dryness prevailed over the Northeast, while seasonably dry weather continued over the western U.S…

Central Plains

Above-normal temperatures accompanied scattered showers, with little widespread change to this week’s drought depiction. Abnormal Dryness (D0) was increased over eastern portions of Colorado, coinciding with locales where 60-day rainfall has tallied 50 percent of normal or less. There were no changes to the Moderate Drought (D1) in Kansas, where this week’s light shower activity (generally 0.5 inch or less) was insufficient for drought reduction…

Northern Plains

Hot, dry conditions prevailed, with temperatures averaging more than 10°F above normal. Despite the 90-degree readings and a lack of rain during the period, changes to this week’s drought designation were generally minor. Abnormal Dryness (D0) was expanded over southeastern Wyoming into northwestern Nebraska, where pronounced short-term precipitation deficits (60-day rainfall totaling 30 to 50 percent of normal) has led to locally pronounced topsoil shortages…

Southern Plains and Texas

Despite areas of beneficial rain in the west and along the Gulf Coast, the overall trend toward intensifying “flash drought” continued. The intensity and coverage of Abnormal Dryness (D0) to Extreme Drought (D3) increased from southern Oklahoma southwestward across central Texas to the Big Bend. Daytime highs reaching into the upper 90s coupled with another dry week continued to accelerate soil moisture losses, with 90-day rainfall tallying a paltry 5 to 20 percent of normal over many of the Lone Star State’s central drought areas. Pronounced short-term dryness has also intensified over central and southern Oklahoma, where 60-day rainfall has totaled mostly less than 30 percent of normal. Meanwhile, widespread showers and thunderstorms (0.4 to 2 inches, locally more) boosted soil moisture for winter crops and pastures on the southern High Plains and eased D0 along the Texas-New Mexico border. Likewise, 1 to 4 inches of rain reduced D0 to D3 in southern and southeastern Texas, though the heaviest rain largely bypassed the core Texas drought areas…

Western U.S.

The overall trend toward drought persistence continued, though isolated showers were noted in the Pacific Northwest and lower Four Corners. After last week’s cool down, much-above-normal temperatures returned to California and the Great Basin. In the north, most of the region’s core Extreme Drought (D3) areas were dry. However, light to moderate showers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula (mostly an inch or less) coupled with last week’s heavier rain continued to stave off D3 expansion. Across the California and the Great Basin, drought remained unchanged as the region continued through its climatologically dry summer season. However, heat exacerbated the impacts of the region’s historic drought, with daytime highs reaching or eclipsing 100°F from central California into the southern Great Basin. In the Four Corners States, additional assessment from the field in the wake of last week’s locally heavy rain resulted in further reductions of Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate (D1) in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico…

Looking Ahead

The complex interaction between a blocking high over eastern Canada, a stationary upper-air low over the Southeast, and Hurricane Joaquin (or the remnants of) will bring the threat of heavy rain to the eastern third of the nation. Rainfall may total 3 to 4 inches (locally much more) across the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, and Northeast, pending the final track of Joaquin. Meanwhile, dry weather is expected from Texas into the upper Midwest. Farther west, a Pacific storm system will move ashore, bringing the potential for locally heavy showers from central and northern California into the northern Rockies. Dry weather is expected over the Southwest, though some late-season showers may arrive in the Four Corners at the end of the period. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 6 – 10 calls for above-normal precipitation and near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, with drier-than-normal conditions confined to the lower Southeast.

Just for grins here’s a slideshow of late September early October US Drought Monitor maps for the past few years:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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