Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:
After a rather wet May with near- to slightly below normal temperatures and generally favorable growing conditions, the central Plains and Midwest have abruptly become dry and warm during the past several weeks, raising concerns of rapid top soil moisture loss and declining crop conditions. In contrast, slow-moving Pacific systems crept across the Northwest and into the northern Plains, bringing unsettled weather to the region including measurable snow to higher elevations of the Sierras while also producing scattered thunderstorms to parts of the drought-stricken Dakotas late in the period. In the Southeast, a stalled front combined with the start of Florida’s rainy season, dumped moderate to heavy rainfall (2-8 inches, locally over a foot) along the coastal areas of the eastern Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts, especially in Florida. In Hawaii, recent drier weather on windward sides of Maui and the Big Island led to D0 expansion, while wetter weather in Alaska eased wild fire conditions…
After a dry and hot (highs in the 90s and 100s degF) early June, a system finally tracked across the northern Plains, somewhat lowering temperatures but finally bringing rain (1-3 inches) to parts of the Dakotas by the end of the week. For the most part, the rains were not great enough to make sizeable improvements to the drought, but where 1.5 or more inches fell, especially in eastern sections of the Dakotas, drought was reduced. For example, 2-4 inches of rain fell on portions of Spink, Clark, and Codington counties in South Dakota, allowing for a 1-category improvement there. D1 was also slightly trimmed in south-central South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota where bands of 1.5-2.5 inches of rain fell. D0 was removed in extreme southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming where short and long-term SPIs were close to normal or even wet. In contrast, downgrades were made in northeastern Montana where April-June are normally the wettest months of the year. D0 and D1 were expanded westward, and D2 was added to encompass locations such as Glasgow, Circle, Fort Peck, Jordan, Brockway, and Saco that reported their first or second driest April 1-June 12 period on record. Totals ranged from 0.8-1.31 inches, or 14-29% of normal. In the central Dakotas, lower totals (0.2-0.5 inches) plus the heat (weekly anomalies +6 to 10 degF) did little to halt deterioration as the existing D2 area expanded westward and northward in ND and southward into SD. D0 also pushed into extreme northern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota. Even with the rainfall (and additional rains that fell after the 12Z Tuesday cutoff), it will take a while for the vegetation to respond to the moisture. Until then, cattle producers were waiting in line to reduce herd sizes, and a ND hotline for hay has been busy. Crop-wise, spring wheat conditions in the June 11 USDA/NASS report was rated poor or very poor in MT (31%), ND (17%), and SD (57%). Similarly, ND (53%), SD (45%), and MT (22%) pasture and range conditions were in similar poor to very poor shape. Elsewhere, 30-day percentages below 50% were found in eastern Kansas, hence D0 was added, based upon the criteria for short-term flash dryness as depicted in the Midwest and South…
June is normally dry and warm across much of the West, especially in the Southwest between the end of the wet winter season (Dec-Apr) and before the onset of the southwest monsoon season (Jul-Sep). Farther to the north, however, unsettled weather brought unseasonably wet and cool conditions to the Northwest (1.5-4 inches of precipitation to coastal Oregon, southern Cascades, south-central Idaho, and southwestern Montana), northern Great Basin, and northern California, including measurable snow to the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada. As of June 13, nearly all of the major California reservoirs were above their historic average capacities (except Perris and Cachuma in the south coast) while Sierra statewide average snow water equivalent was at 8.4 inches, or 169% of normal. In New Mexico, scattered showers (0.5-2 inches) in south-central portions were enough to trim back some of the D0 (also in southwestern Texas) north of the El Paso area. Elsewhere, no changes were made in the West…
During the next five days (June 15-19), WPC’s 5-day QPF forecasts widespread rainfall across most of the Midwest, Southeast, central Appalachians, and Great Lakes region, with the greatest totals (2-3 inches) from northern Missouri eastward into western Pennsylvania and southward into the Carolinas. Rain should also fall on coastal Washington and the northern Rockies. Dry weather should encompass the rest of the West, High Plains, Texas, and western Gulf Coast. Temperatures should average above-normal across the southern two-thirds of the U.S., with subnormal readings limited to the northern sections of the Rockies and Plains and upper Midwest.
For the ensuing five-day period (June 20-24), odds favor sub-median precipitation in the Northwest, Rockies, northern three-quarters of the Plains, and western Corn Belt, while above-median rainfall is likely along the Atlantic and eastern Gulf Coast States, Great Lakes region, and the eastern half of Alaska. Above-normal temperatures are likely in the western half of the U.S., Florida, and the northern and southwestern coasts of Alaska, with subnormal readings in the Great Lakes region, Midwest, and southeastern Alaska.