#Drought news: Positive change in depiction for E. #Colorado plains

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


During the past 7-days, an active weather pattern ensued across the contiguous United States. Larger, contiguous areas of heavy precipitation (greater than 2 inches) were observed from Kansas east-northeastward across the Midwest to Lower Michigan, the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast area, parts of the Appalachians and adjacent foothills, portions of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, and the Pacific Northwest. Light precipitation (less than 0.5-inch) was observed across most of California and the Southwest, leeward slopes of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, the north-central CONUS, eastern Maine, and central and southern Florida. Moderate precipitation (0.5-2.0 inches) was generally reported elsewhere. During the past week, there have been numerous severe weather reports, primarily across the southeastern quadrant of the CONUS, but also overspreading the Midwest and Ohio Valley. After some consideration, it was decided that a few small changes should be made across southern and eastern Georgia and adjacent counties in South Carolina, which have seen increasing dryness and well above-normal temperatures this past week. Once the storm currently influencing this area departs, there will be more time available for a more realistic reassessment of conditions next week…

The Plains

Widespread one-category improvements were made to the depiction across Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, where heavy precipitation (mostly 2-5 inches) was reported by the Applied Climate Information Service (ACIS) in the past week. In Texas, the city of Del Rio in Val Verde County received 5.07 inches of rain on April 2nd, which is a record for the date and nearly one-third of their annual rainfall. In addition, all severe drought (D2) areas were removed from the Lone Star state, as short-term wetness was minimizing impacts. In Oklahoma, Interstate 44 served as a surprisingly good demarcation line between heavy precipitation to its north and west, and light precipitation to its south and east. The extreme drought (D3) area was reduced to severe drought (D2) over the Oklahoma Panhandle. In a small area encompassing portions of Osage, Pawnee, and Creek Counties, 4.0-5.5 inches of rain fell, justifying a rare two-class improvement to the U.S. Drought Monitor. In eastern Oklahoma and adjacent portions of western Arkansas, the three areas of D2 drought were combined into a single entity. In Kansas, a one-category improvement was made across practically the entire state, with the exception of the far northwest, which has been drier. In the southeast Nebraska Counties of Gage, Pawnee and Richardson, abnormally dry conditions (D0) were eliminated. Moderate drought (D1) was removed from the far northern counties of the Nebraska Panhandle, including Sioux, Dawes, and Sheridan. In northeastern New Mexico, moderate precipitation (0.5-2.0 inches) warranted a one-category improvement in the drought depiction, with the exception of Union County, which mostly missed out on recent precipitation events. In eastern Colorado, several small-scale one-category improvements were rendered to the depiction. No changes to the depiction were made in the northern Plains this week…

The West

In California, reservoirs are mostly above-average (Percent of Average Reservoir Storage values mostly between 100-170 percent), though there are a few exceptions. One of the more notable exceptions being tracked is the Cachuma Reservoir northwest of Santa Barbara, CA, which is reporting a Percent of Average Reservoir Storage of 57-percent. No changes to the USDM map were deemed necessary in California, Nevada, or Arizona…

Looking Ahead

During the next five days (April 6-10), the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) precipitation forecast calls for moderate precipitation (0.5-1.5 inches) to reach perhaps as far south as Santa Barbara, CA. The Northern Plains is predicted to receive close to a half-inch of precipitation during this 5-day period, which should at least offset any additional deterioration. Light precipitation (less than 0.5-inch) expected over the Central and Southern Plains offers little in the way of additional drought improvements. One to two inches of rain anticipated for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain provides improved prospects for additional drought relief in that region, as does moderate to heavy rainfall (0.5-4.0) inches across the Southeast, with the possible exception of Florida.

For the ensuing five-day period (April 11-15), there are elevated odds for above-median precipitation across the south-central CONUS, northern California, the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, and parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley. There are elevated odds for below-median precipitation across the Southeast, and in a band stretching from the southern Sierras of California eastward across much of the Rockies and Plains, the north-central Mississippi Valley, the southern Great Lakes region, and the Northeast. Below-median precipitation is also favored for most of Alaska, south of the Brooks Range.

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