Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:
An active weather pattern provided above-normal precipitation during the USDM period (April 11-18) in much of the Southern Plains, West, Northwest, and parts of the Midwest. Below-normal precipitation dominated the Rockies, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast. Average daytime temperatures were generally above normal across much of the CONUS with the exception of the Northwest where temperatures were generally 3 degrees cooler than normal. Much of the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Central Plains were 9-12 degrees above normal for the period. Drought conditions expanded and intensified for much of the Southeast where the lack of rains have begun to parch the soils. In the South, Texas continues to see above normal precipitation resulting in a continual decrease in overall area covered in drought (D1-D4). Meanwhile in the West, the onslaught of Pacific storms continue to bring copious amounts of moisture to the region, swelling the reservoirs, threatening snowpack records and padding the record high precipitation amounts. Additional information on the indices, impacts and changes in drought status can be found in the regional sections below…
Precipitation in the High Plains region for the period was quiet for the most part with the exception of precipitation in eastern South Dakota and eastern Nebraska. Totals there amounted to about an inch or less, near to slightly above normal. Elsewhere was dry as the frontal systems that made it through were starved of moisture. In eastern Colorado, moderate drought (D1) was lifted along the Colorado and Kansas border as short and long term indicators appear to have mostly rebounded from the drought that began in that area last autumn. Also in eastern Kansas, D0 was trimmed back following the above normal precipitation at 60 days…
New Mexico had its warmest start to the year through March, while Arizona had its fourth warmest start. It was reported that the grasses in southeast Arizona are drying up quickly after greening up earlier than usual. For New Mexico as a whole, 61 percent of top soils are short or very short of moisture. The abnormally dry conditions prompted the expansion of D0 across the southern borders of both Arizona and New Mexico. In western Colorado, snowpack was generally above normal for the season and with an early and fast melt occurring, stream flows are generally much above average. However, the Yampa/White Basin was one of the only areas in the Upper Colorado River Basin that did not reach average peak snowpack. It was reported that not only is the snow melting early, but the crops are coming out of dormancy earlier than usual. Because of the warmer than normal temperatures, low elevation snow pack as disappeared much earlier than normal. Due to the above mentioned conditions, D0 was expanded to the north and west stretching across the Wyoming border. In California, Pacific storms continue to bring precipitation in the form of high elevation snow and valley rains to the region. These moisture laden storms are crucial for summer water resources as the runoff feeds into the streams and reservoirs. Forecasted stream flows for California river basins generally show much above normal volumes through the summer months. No other changes were made in the West.
*For details on Eastern Colorado and Eastern Wyoming, refer to the High Plains region…
During the next 5 days, temperatures are forecasted to be near to below average for the Northwest, High Plains and South. Warmer than average temperatures are expected in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest. During the same period, precipitation is forecasted to be the heaviest (3-5 inches) in an area stretching from Oklahoma east through the Tennessee Valley. Much of the Midwest and Northeast is also expected to see about an inch of precipitation. The 6-10 day outlooks call for an increase in probability that above normal temperatures are expected in the Southwest and South stretching into the Midwest and below normal temperatures in the Northwest, Northeast and parts of the High Plains. The odds are in favor of wet conditions in the Northwest, Northern Rockies and High Plains while the West and East Coasts dry out.