#Drought news: The South Platte Basin is drying out some

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

The Plains and Midwest

Moderate to heavy rain fell in a band from northern New Mexico northeastward through much of northern Oklahoma, Kansas, and the southern and northern reaches of Missouri, and adjacent Iowa last week, with amounts of 3 to 5 inches recorded in a few spots in north-central Missouri and adjacent Iowa, northern and southern Kansas, and northeasternmost New Mexico. Farther north, moderate to heavy rain was also observed in a smaller swath covering south-central to southeastern Nebraska. Light to moderate totals were observed in the central High Plains and eastern Iowa, and only a few tenths of an inch at best fell elsewhere. This pattern of variable precipitation amounts prompted numerous changes of relatively small scale. For instance, patches of deterioration were noted in South Dakota, western Iowa, and south-central Oklahoma while improvements were introduced in southern Nebraska, southeast Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and areas near the Iowa/Missouri border…

The Rockies and West

Seasonable monsoon rainfall was observed in Arizona (generally eastern areas), New Mexico, and the southern half of Colorado while little or no precipitation fell elsewhere, which is not uncommon this time of year. The precipitation pattern per se did not warrant making Drought Monitor changes, but water supply assessments undertaken in some states led to a more pessimistic re-assessment of conditions, particularly in Montana, and these are reflected in the Drought Monitor this week. Reservoir levels, streamflow levels, and surface moisture conditions prompted expansion of abnormal dryness and moderate drought, along with the introduction of large areas of severe drought, across the southern, central, and western sections of Montana. Smaller-scale deteriorations were also introduced in part of Idaho and Oregon…

Looking Ahead

During the next 5 days (August 11 – 15), heavy precipitation (more than 1.5 inches) is expected in a broad swath from the Big Bend region in Texas eastward through upper central Texas, most of the Mississippi Valley, the adjacent central Gulf Coast, the Ohio Valley, the western Great Lakes region, and interior sections of the Northeast and New England. Amounts may reach 4 to 8 inches in the eastern half of Louisiana and adjacent locations, 3 to 6 inches in the Big Bend, 2 to 5 inches in the upper Midwest (centered near the Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota triple point), and 2 to 5 inches along and just north of the Ohio River. Moderate amounts are anticipated in the Southwest, eastern Colorado, most of Florida, the central Plains, and the southern reaches of the Northeast and New England. A few tenths of an inch at best are expected in most other areas, although amounts may approach an inch in the southern Appalachians. High temperatures will average a few degrees above normal in the Great Lakes region, mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, as well as the West Coast states away from the immediate coastline. Near- or below-normal temperatures seem likely elsewhere.

During August 16 – 20, the odds favor wetter than normal weather in a broad swath from the southern Rockies eastward through the southern Plains, lower Mississippi Valley, mid-Atlantic region, and Southeast (outside the Florida Peninsula). The odds also favor wet weather in the northern Great Plains. However, enhanced chances for drier than normal weather exist in the Northwest, the Intermountain West, central sections of the Rockies and Plains, and southern and eastern portions of the Great Lakes region. The odds favor warm weather from the Rockies westward, from the Appalachians eastward, and along the northern one-third of the Nation. In contrast, cooler than normal weather is favored from the Southwest eastward through the lower Mississippi Valley away from the immediate Gulf Coast.

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