#Drought news: D0 shows up in #RioGrande and #ArkansasRiver basins

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

Dry, hot conditions across the central and southern U.S. contrasted with heavy rain and mountain snow in the northwestern quarter of the nation. As a result, drought continued to rapidly intensify from the Delta to the Southeast, with drought intensification also noted over portions of the Northeast. Conversely, large swaths of drought were reduced or eliminated from the northern Rockies into the Pacific Northwest…

Northern Plains
There were no changes to this area’s drought depiction, with light showers (less than 0.5 inch) offering no substantial relief to the Long-term Moderate to Severe Drought (D1 and D2)…

Central and Southern Plains
Dry, hot weather resulted in rapid expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1). Temperatures during the period averaged 7 to 13°F above normal, with daytime highs reaching the upper 90s and lower 100s across the southern High Plains. The summer-like heat coupled with a lack of rainfall over the past 30 days exacerbated the impacts of the dryness, with some producers holding off on winter wheat sowing operations due to a lack of soil moisture. Conditions vary locally, with wetter soils in the east contrasting with protracted short-term dryness farther west. For example, while central and eastern Kansas has received favorable rain (100-200 percent of normal precipitation over the past 30 days), the D1 area in the southwestern corner of the state has reported little — if any — precipitation over the same time period…

Conditions remained largely unchanged in Texas during the week, with modest increases in Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) in northern and southern portions of the state. In the panhandle, D0 was expanded to capture areas which have received little — if any — precipitation over the past 30 days, with daytime highs approaching 100°F accelerating soil moisture losses for winter wheat. Pockets of D0 were also introduced on the Edwards Plateau and in southeastern Texas, where similar heat and dryness have been observed. In Deep South Texas, D0 and D1 were expanded where 90-day rainfall has totaled 25 to 60 percent of normal and soil moisture was likewise in very short supply…

Western U.S.
Heavy drought-easing precipitation in northern portions of the region contrasted with dry, warmer-than-normal conditions across the south. In California, some modest drought reduction was noted in the north, with the biggest change for the week noted in the Impact Type; much of the drought in central and northern California is now a Long-term Drought (denoted on the map by an “L”), meaning that short-term impacts have been eased or alleviated but long-term impacts (ground water, reservoir supplies, etc.) remained.

From the Pacific Northwest into the northern Rockies, a steady fetch of Pacific moisture coupled with a series of disturbances triggered heavy rain and mountain snow. Event totals varied considerably based on topography, but liquid-equivalent amounts averaged 3 to 15 inches in the Coastal Ranges to 1 to 4 inches in the northern Rockies. Areas lee of the mountains received less, but amounts of 0.5 inch to locally more than an inch were observed. As a result, widespread 1- and 2-category reductions were made in areas where the heaviest precipitation fell.

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rain and mountain snow (2-10 inches liquid equivalent, locally more) were observed in northern California, the Sierra Nevada, and along the immediate coast as far south as Santa Cruz. While the rain was beneficial for streamflow and soil moisture recharge, the state will need more cool-season precipitation to undo the far-reaching impacts of the ongoing 5-year drought.

In the Great Basin and Four Corners, a modest reduction of D0 in eastern Nevada was supported by feedback from local experts following near- to above-normal precipitation in these areas during the just-concluded 2015-16 Water Year. The rest of the region remained unchanged, though a continuation of hot, dry conditions may necessitate increases in drought intensity and coverage over the upcoming weeks…

Looking Ahead
Unfavorably dry conditions are expected to linger over many of the nation’s drought areas over the next 5 to 7 days. In particular, little — if any — rain is expected over the Southeast as well as the southern half of the Great Plains. Exceptions to the dry outlook include the potential for locally heavy rain from the central Appalachians into northern New England, and from northern California into the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 25- 29 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures over most of the nation, with cooler-than-normal conditions confined to New England and the central Pacific Coast. However, the outlook features a wetter-than-normal signal from the Pacific Coast into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, with drier-than-normal conditions limited to portions of Texas and from the Delta into the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States.

Leave a Reply