#Drought news: Small pocket of D1 (moderate drought) introduced in Elbert and Lincoln counties

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


Unseasonably warm, dry weather across the eastern third of the nation contrasted with wet, cooler conditions across portions of the west. The overall trend during the past week included rapidly expanding dryness and drought from North Carolina into New England, while highly variable drought lingered over much of the Southeast. Recent rain continued to ease dryness in northern portions of the Plains and Rockies as well as the lower Southwest, while drier-than-normal weather intensified in the Pacific Northwest…

Northern Plains

Chilly, wet weather improved conditions over the region’s core drought areas, though impacts remained. Temperatures for the week averaged 2 to 8°F below normal, which coupled with widespread rain and high-elevation snow led to reductions of dryness and drought. During the 7-day period, precipitation totaled locally more than an inch in southern and eastern Montana as well as western North Dakota. This week’s precipitation coupled with a wetter-than-normal period dating back over the past 90 days led to the reduction of Abnormal Dryness (D0) as well as Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2, respectively) in these locales. Precipitation was also noted in the Black Hills and environs, where satellite-derived vegetation health data as well as reports from the field continued to show improving conditions from this summer’s locally Extreme Drought (D3). Despite the cooler weather and recent rain, impacts lingered in the D2 and D3 areas, with 90-day rainfall remaining locally less than 50 percent of normal…

Central and Southern Plains

Changes during the week were generally minor in this mostly drought-free region. Showers eased Abnormal Dryness (D0) and trimmed the Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2) in Nebraska, though deficits over the past 90 days (40-75 percent of normal) lingered. In eastern Colorado, a small pocket of D1 was introduced where 90-day rainfall is currently running one-third of normal. In Oklahoma, locally heavy rain (1-3 inches) and resultant drought relief in central and northern portions of the state contrasted with worsening drought in the south; the state’s new D2 area has received less than 30 percent of normal rainfall over the past 90 days…


Widespread albeit highly variable showers in central and northern portions of the state contrasted with localized drought intensification in Deep South Texas. Rainfall amounts in Texas’ Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) areas ranged from a Trace to locally more than 2 inches, which likewise resulted in highly variable reduction of D0 and D1. Severe Drought (D2) was introduced in far southern Texas, where 90-day rainfall was less than 25 percent of normal…

Western U.S.

Moderate to heavy rain from former Pacific Hurricane Newton eased or eradicated drought in the lower Southwest, while increasingly dry conditions were noted across portions of the Pacific Northwest. A welcomed soaking rainfall (1-4 inches, locally more) fell over southeastern Arizona and much of southern New Mexico, bringing widespread reductions to Abnormal Dryness (D0) as well as Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2). In some areas, 2-category improvements were made where the rain from Newton was sufficient to push 6-month precipitation to above-normal levels. Further assessment may be warranted over the upcoming weeks to fully incorporate the impacts of this week’s rain on the region’s lingering drought. In contrast, Severe Drought (D2) was expanded across southeastern California and southwestern Arizona due to a poor monsoon (less than 50 percent of normal rainfall over the past 3 months, locally less than 10 percent). Likewise, a small area of Moderate Drought (D1) was introduced in northwestern Washington, where 90-day rainfall has totaled 50 percent of normal (deficits in excess of 2 inches)…

Looking Ahead

Tropical Storm Julia will likely be a short-lived tropical storm due to land interaction and unfavorable upper-level winds. Nevertheless, additional rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches or more can be expected, especially along the South Carolina coast. Farther west, a weakening cold front will move through the Northeast and stall across the South, while a robust storm system will emerge from the northern Intermountain West before crossing the northern Plains and upper Midwest on September 15-16. Five-day rainfall could total an inch or more across portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest, and reach 1 to 3 inches from the central and southern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley. Parts of the Northeast could also receive more than an inch of rain, while late-week showers will overspread the Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 20- 24 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for the northern Rockies, with the greatest likelihood of warm weather in the Great Lakes region and the eastern U.S. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation will linger over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast as well as from the central Plains to the Great Basin and central Pacific Coast. Wetter-than-normal conditions are expected from the Southeast and Gulf Coast States into the Midwest, extending westward along the Canadian border into the Pacific Northwest.

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