#Drought news: #Monsoon2017 showers lead to reduction in D0 (Abnormally Dry) in SW #Colorado

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


Rain fell in much of the country last week with the greatest amounts occurring in a band that extended from the Southwest to the Great Plains and across much of the eastern half of the country. Rainfall bypassed the Northwest, south-central U.S., and parts of the north-central U.S. Continued precipitation deficits combined with above normal temperatures resulted in an expansion of abnormal dryness and drought. Seasonal monsoon showers in the Southwest alleviated lingering short-term dryness and began to chip away at the long-term deficits. Rainfall in the Plains and Midwest brought relief to a few locations and staved off degradation in others….

High Plains

Scattered showers in the Plains brought drought relief to a few isolated locations and merely stalled the deterioration in others. In North Dakota, temperatures in excess of 5 degrees above normal, combined with a continued lack of rainfall led to an expansion of abnormally dry, moderate drought, and severe drought in the east. A one category improvement, from severe to moderate drought, was made over the south-central part of the state near the South Dakota border in response to locally heavy rainfall that improved many of the drought indicators including stream flow, soil moisture, and evaporative demand. However, impacts to vegetation are generally set with the rainfall having come too late in the season to improve things. Conditions in the remainder of the state remain unchanged. USDA reports nearly three-quarters of the state’s topsoil is short to very short and reports of agricultural impacts are widespread. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has declared a drought disaster for most of the state.

In South Dakota, two weeks of localized rainfall brought a mixture of improvements and degradations to the eastern half of the state. Moderate drought was reduced slightly in central South Dakota and a one-category improvement was made near the east-central border where reports of 12 inches of rainfall fell. The southeastern part of the state missed out on the heavy rains. Leading to the expansion of moderate drought into the area. The western part of the state remained status quo.

As with the Dakotas, patchy rainfall also occurred in Nebraska and Kansas. Nebraska saw a small reduction in abnormal dryness in the east-central part of the state where locally 3-5 inches were reported last week. Kansas saw a reduction in abnormally dry conditions in the southwest part of the state and an increase in the southeast…


Last week, the west was marked by hot, dry conditions in Montana, the Northwest, and California. Meanwhile, cooler than normal temperatures and monsoonal rainfall in the southwest. Oregon, Washington, and Idaho all saw an expansion of abnormally dry conditions as temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees above average combined with persistent precipitation deficits dried out vegetation and stressed water supplies.

Another week with little to no rainfall in Montana left western portions of the state with precipitation deficits of 2 to 4 inches and eastern portions with 4 to 8 inches. Severe drought was expanded slightly in the northeast part of the state and moderate drought was expanded in the northwest in response to the continued lack of rainfall, high evaporative demand, and widespread reports of impacts. USDA reports 96 percent of the state’s topsoil is short to very short and Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order declaring a statewide fire emergency.

Abundant rainfall in the southwest due to increased monsoonal moisture, led to the removal of many of the abnormally dry conditions in southern Nevada, central and southeastern Utah, western Colorado, eastern Arizona, and over much of New Mexico…

Looking Ahead

In the two days since the Tuesday morning cutoff time for this week’s map, monsoon showers and thunderstorms have continued to bring precipitation to the southwestern U.S. For August 2nd to the 7th, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center forecasts rainfall across many of the drought afflicted regions of the country. The highest totals, up to 3 inches, of rain is forecast for Oklahoma and the upper Midwest. One to 1.5 inches is forecast for the eastern Great Plains and much of Texas, while the western half of the Great Plains, west and south Texas, and the long-term drought areas in southern California and Arizona could see about a half inch. The Pacific Northwest and western Montana are expected to see little or no precipitation and continued high temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees above normal. Much of the rest of the country is expected to experience cooler than normal conditions.

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