Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor Website. Here’s an excerpt:
Temperatures were cooler than average for much of the contiguous U.S. this week, including 4-8 degrees F below average across a large part of the Plains and Midwest this past week. Only Washington and Oregon saw temperatures more than 4 degrees above average for the period. With the below-average temperatures came a lot of rain in some regions, notably across northern Texas and much of Oklahoma, where rainfall was more than 600% of normal for this time of year. There were also substantial rains in parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, parts of the Dakotas, and in many places across the southeast. Rainfall was below average in southern Texas, parts of the midwest, northeast, and northwest, particularly notable in Montana where wildfires are prevalent…
With the recent rainfalls, conditions returned to normal in northwestern Kansas along the Nebraska border and across extreme southern Kansas. In southwestern Nebraska, moderate drought shrank (D1) in Perkins, Chase, Hayes, and Lincoln Counties, following precipitation totals of up to nearly 4 inches. Likewise in the Nebraska panhandle, normal conditions prevail once again across eastern Box Butte, northeastern Morrill county, and northern Garden Counties, thanks to precipitation totals of 1.5-2.5 inches over the past week. Heavy rain also erased remaining dryness in Laramie County, Wyoming. Conditions improved to abnormally dry (D0) in parts of Custer, Blaine, and Loup counties in central Nebraska after two consecutive nights of heavy rainfall. Moderate drought also shrank slightly in north central Holt and south central Boyd counties, where up to 3.5 inches of rain fell. And normal conditions returned to a swath from Ewing to Atkinson in Holt County. Some areas in South Dakota received 3-7 inches of rain over the past week, contributing to improving conditions in some northeastern, north central, and south central pockets. However, the west was not as fortunate. Extreme drought (D3) creeped farther west in Meade County while severe drought (D2) expanded in Jackson. In southwestern North Dakota, rainfall helped alleviate exceptional drought (D4, the worst category), although due to the extremely poor growing conditions, it remained around the Hettinger County area. Conditions also improved in Colorado. Normal conditions returned around the Denver metro area and in Phillips County in the northeastern corner of the state…
In far southern California, drought conditions in Imperial County have now improved to moderate (D1) as long-term drought continues to plague this area and nearby regions. Conditions also improved around eastern Nevada into western Utah as abnormally dry (D0) conditions returned to normal in most of region, save for a region encompassing part of southwestern White Pine and northeastern Nye Counties. Conditions also returned to normal in the Unita Mounains at the Utah / Wyoming border. In Montana, abnormally dry conditions extended southward to the Wyoming border, encompassing more of northern Beaverhead and most of Madison Counties. There have been recent reports of water shortages in Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, Park Counties. Ninety-eight percent of the topsoil rated short to very short in Montana and fire danger is high…
For the week of August 16-23, rain is forecast across most of the contiguous United States, save most of the western quarter and part of eastern to southern Texas. Rainfall may be in excess of two inches or more in some areas that will significantly benefit, including much of the Plains from North Dakota south through Oklahoma, parts of the midwest where dry conditions have recently creeped in, and across much of the East Coast states. Over the next few days, temperatures are broadly forecast to be in the 70s to 80s across much of the northern tier and 80s to 90s across much of South. Temperatures in the 90s and higher are likely limited mostly to Texas, southwestern Arizona, and southern California.
Looking further ahead into the second week period, above-average temperatures are favored across most of the contiguous U.S., particularly in southern Texas, Florida, and part of the upper midwest to the mid- and North Atlantic states, while below-average conditions are favored in Alaska. Wetter-than-average are favored across much of the eastern two-thirds of the contiguous U.S., part of the west, most notably western New Mexico, ad eastern Alaska. Drier-than-average conditions are favored across most of Texas and Oklahoma, along with the northwestern tier of the Contiguous U.S. and western Alaska.