#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) expanded in NW #Colorado, monsoon on the way

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

Summary

This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw scattered showers and thunderstorm activity across portions of the central and southern Plains, Gulf Coast, lower Midwest, northern half of New England and the Southeast. Heavy rainfall was observed across northern Missouri where severe thunderstorms produced widespread accumulations ranging from 3 to 5 inches as well as two isolated areas receiving 8 to 10 inches. In the southern Plains, some improvement in drought conditions occurred in southeastern Oklahoma where 4 to 11 inches of rain fell during the past week. In the drought-stricken northern Plains and eastern Montana, rainfall accumulations were generally less than 1 inch providing little relief. Early this week, temperatures in eastern Montana soared into the 90s exacerbating already dry conditions and further stressing crops, pastures, and rangelands. Across the remainder of the West, generally hot and dry conditions prevailed with areas of the Pacific Northwest experiencing temperatures up to 10 degrees above normal. In the desert Southwest and Great Basin, firefighters have been battling large wildland fires in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. In the South, heavy rains fells across the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In the Mid-Atlantic, some areas of dryness have developed in portions of Delaware, Maryland, and northern Virginia. In the Northeast, heavy rains were observed in Upstate New York as well as northern portions of New Hampshire and Vermont…

The Plains

On this week’s map, areas of Severe Drought (D2) and Extreme Drought (D3) expanded across eastern Montana, south-central North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota where hot and dry conditions persisted. In northwestern South Dakota, South Dakota State University Extension staff reported poor pasture and range conditions as well as deteriorating crop conditions (corn). In eastern Montana, hot and dry weather continued to deteriorate pasture, rangeland, and crop conditions as temperatures soared above 90 degrees. On July 1st, the National Weather Service Office in Glasgow, Montana reported several dry precipitation records were broken for Glasgow including: the driest May and June (0.72 inches) since 1918; the driest April, May, and June (1.24 inches) since 1918; and the driest January through June (2.75 inches) since 1983. According to the USDA for the week ending June 25th, topsoil moisture (percent short to very short) is as follows: Montana – 69%, Nebraska – 56%, North Dakota – 53%, and South Dakota – 63%. In the southern Plains, areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) were reduced in eastern and southern portions of Oklahoma where heavy rainfall accumulations were observed with some localized accumulations in south-central Oklahoma ranging from 8 to 10 inches. Across most of the region with exception of western portions of the Dakotas, average temperatures were slightly below normal (1 to 4 degrees)…

The West

During the past week, a dry pattern continued across most of the West. Some lesser rainfall accumulation (less than 1 inch) were observed across northern New Mexico, northern Wyoming, and southwestern Montana. In the Pacific Northwest, hot and dry conditions prevailed with average temperatures 2 to 10 degrees above normal. In the Southwest, a number of large wildland fires continued to burn in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah where monsoon moisture has been limited during the past week. In southeastern Arizona, the Frye Fire has burned ~46,000 acres (51% contained) of timber, brush, and chaparral according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. In southwestern Utah, the Brianhead Fire has burned approximately 67,000 acres and is currently 75% contained. On this week’s map, areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) were added in western Arizona, northwestern Colorado, southeastern Nevada, northeastern Utah, and southern Wyoming in response to above average temperatures (past 30 days), short-term dryness, and below normal soil moisture…

Looking Ahead

The NWS WPC 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for moderate precipitation accumulations (1 to 3 inches) across much of the Eastern Tier of the conterminous U.S. with some heavier accumulations (3 to 4 inches) forecasted for portions of the Mid-Atlantic. Lesser accumulations (less than 1.5 inches) are forecasted for the central and southern Rockies as well as portions of the desert Southwest including eastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico as monsoonal moisture returns to the region. The CPC 6–10 day outlooks call for a high probability of above-normal temperatures across the western half of the conterminous U.S., upper Midwest, and Florida while the Eastern U.S. is forecast to be normal. Below-normal precipitation is forecast for the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and the Plains while above-normal precipitation is expected in the portions of the Intermountain West, Arizona, western Colorado, Utah, and the eastern third of the U.S.

North American Monsoon graphic via Hunter College.

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