#Drought news: D1 (Abnormally dry) introduced in W. #Colorado, E. plains improved

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


An intense storm developed over the central Plains and moved through the Midwest, bringing with it torrential rains and thunderstorms on the front side and heavy, wet snow on the back side. A wide swath of the country from eastern Oklahoma through Arkansas, Missouri and into Illinois recorded over 5 inches of rain with the event. Portions of western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle recorded several inches of snow, with some places over a foot. The Southeast remained dry as well as much of the Southwest. Long-term drought issues still linger in the Northeast even with the wet pattern of the last several months. Snow was still accumulating in the upper elevations of the Rocky Mountains, with water managers making room for the anticipated runoff…

High Plains

The week was mixed over the region; it was dry in the Dakotas but wet over much of Nebraska and Kansas as well as the plains of Colorado. The same storm system that brought the rain to the Midwest also brought rain and snow to both Kansas and Nebraska. Significant snow totals were associated with this storm for this time of year. In Kansas, Tribune had a storm total of 22 inches; Wallace, 21 inches; Hugoton, 17 inches; Russell Springs, 16.5 inches; and Ulysses, 15.5 inches. In Nebraska, Maywood had 12 inches; Miller, O’Neill, and Newport, 10 inches; Eustis, 8.4 inches; and Lexington, Bertrand, and Sumner, 8 inches. Moisture in the region allowed for improvement to drought and dryness in the region. All moderate drought was removed this week from Nebraska and eastern Colorado and only 2 small pockets of moderate drought remain in northeast Wyoming. Abnormally dry conditions were also improved over all of Kansas, western South Dakota, eastern Colorado, and southern Nebraska. Only a few pockets of dryness remain in the region…


Precipitation over New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, and the Rocky Mountains was the highlight of the week. The precipitation over the Rocky Mountains and into northern New Mexico allowed for improvements to be made this week, with moderate drought reduced and abnormally dry conditions improved. Dryness over western Colorado and eastern Utah allowed for a new area of abnormally dry conditions to be introduced this week. Montana received above-normal rainfall in April, which allowed for the abnormally dry conditions that had previously been associated with below-normal snowpack to be removed. Over the last several months, dryness over western New Mexico and eastern Arizona has developed, and this area will need to be monitored closely for degradation in the near future…

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, another storm system will impact the Midwest with good chances of heavy rain from Missouri northeast into Michigan. Heavy rains are anticipated along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle, with up to 3-4 inches projected. Much of the eastern third of the United States will see rain, with only southern Georgia and Florida on the lower end of the forecasted amounts. Temperatures will be below normal over the eastern United States as the wet pattern will suppress daily highs. Warmer than normal conditions are anticipated over the High Plains, northern Rocky Mountains and into the Great Basin, with departures of 12-15 degrees above normal anticipated.

The 6-10 day outlooks show that much of the western half of the United States will expect greater than normal chances of recording above-normal precipitation, especially over the Southwest and Alaska. Increased chances of drier than normal conditions are projected over the Midwest and Southeast, with the driest locations anticipated to be over south Florida and the upper Midwest. The temperature outlook correlates well with the anticipated precipitation pattern as the greatest chance of cooler than normal temperatures is over the Southwest and Northeast while much of the Southeast, Alaska, High Plains, and northern Rocky Mountains are anticipating a higher than normal probability of warmer than normal temperatures.

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