#Drought news: D2 (Severe drought) erased from #Colorado

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


Moderate to heavy precipitation (generally 0.5-3.0 inches, locally greater) was widespread across the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during the past 7-days, with the notable exception of the Southwest and the southern High Plains region. There were also numerous reports of severe weather over the central and eastern CONUS, and strong winds over portions of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies on April 7th…

The northern and central Plains

The dryness/drought area over the northern Plains was re-configured this week, after a regional reassessment of conditions. The moderate drought (D1) area was shifted a bit to the west into northeastern Wyoming. This re-configuration reflects the recent precipitation that has been beneficial at the start of the growing season, and is focused primarily on the past 30-60 days. In addition, D0 was expanded in southwestern North Dakota to include the counties of Hettinger, Grant, Adams, and western Sioux. In southwestern Kansas, where generous rains (4-7 inches) fell during the past 30-days, a one-category improvement was made to the depiction. In contrast, where 1.5-3.5 inches fell during the same period, a one-category degradation was rendered to the depiction in northwestern and north-central Kansas. Several small-scale improvements were also made in eastern Colorado this week, including the removal of severe drought (D2) in north-central portions of the state, and much of the nearby D1 area…

The southern Plains

A one-category improvement was made in the Oklahoma Panhandle this week, which resulted in the elimination of lingering severe drought (D2). ACIS PNPs out through at least the past 90-days are easily in excess of 100-percent of normal, and often 200-percent or higher. This past week, 4-inches or more of rain merited a one-category improvement for the extreme southeastern Oklahoma counties of McCurtain and eastern Choctaw. In the eastern portion of the state, D2 (S) was expanded, and connected with the D2 area in neighboring Arkansas. In Texas, minor revisions were rendered to the depiction, until the final precipitation numbers came in for rainfall received between 12z Monday and 12z Tuesday (the final 24 hours of the data inclusion period for the week). This rainfall (in some cases up to 8-inches) resulted in substantial one-category improvements across the northeastern part of the Lone Star state…

The West

No changes were made to the drought depiction this week across the West. Recent stats for California (taken from the California-Nevada Drought Monitor Discussion Call) show an incredible year for precipitation and runoff. In the Sacramento area, the precipitation percentages since October 1, 2016 range from 120-percent to 300-percent or more of normal. The Northern Sierra 8-station index is at 205-percent of normal, only 0.8-inch away from the 1982-83 El Nino record, and the Central Sierra 6-station index is at 195-percent of normal. Snowpack is equally impressive at 157-percent and 180-percent of normal for this date in the Northern and Central Sierra, respectively. The Sierra reservoirs have made an amazing recovery this winter, with all the reservoirs at or just above their Top of Conservation levels…

Looking Ahead

During the next five days (April 13-17), the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) predicts 1.0-2.5 inches of precipitation from the southern High Plains northeastward across the mid-upper Mississippi Valley and into the western Great Lakes region. Heavy precipitation (3-4 inches, liquid equivalent) is expected across the Coastal Ranges of the Pacific Northwest and northwestern California, the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, and the California Sierras. However, these areas are no longer in drought or dryness.

For the ensuing five-day period (April 18-22), there are elevated odds for above-median precipitation across most of the northern and central thirds of the CONUS, while near- to below-median precipitation is favored across the southern tier of states. Below-median precipitation is also favored for all of Alaska.

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