#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) expands into Washington County

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

Summary

Precipitation was above normal across much of the nation’s mid-section and below normal in portions of the Deep South, Southeast, Ohio Valley and much of the West. The heaviest rainfall was in southern Minnesota, western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, western Missouri, eastern Kansas and northwest Arkansas. Temperatures were above normal for much of the eastern third of the nation, the Deep South and Far West. The Northern Plains, Southwest and much of the West had below-normal temperatures. Drought and dryness persisted in the northern Plains and expanded westward significantly in Montana…

High Plains

Precipitation was above normal for much of the Dakotas and Nebraska during the week. Rainfall totals exceeded 5 inches in eastern Nebraska and the eastern Dakotas received 3-5 inches. The precipitation helped ease some of the drought conditions that have persisted in the region for several months. Despite the recent rains, significant long-term dryness still existed so drought conditions continued for much of the region. In North Dakota, it was reported that some ranchers are resorting to drilling new wells as the previously established wells have dried up. In South Dakota, reported impacts include: dry dams or unusable water, lack of well water, failed hay crops, and wildfire danger. In Nebraska, it was reported that crops are beginning to stress due to the lack of rain…

West

Most of the West region received little to no precipitation for this period, as this time of year is normally the dry season. Temperatures were cooler than average for much of the Southwest and interior West, but 2-4 degrees F above normal for much of Nevada, as much as 2 degrees F above normal for central California and 6-8 degrees F above normal for northern California. Drought continued to expand in western Montana where the extremely dry weather pattern has persisted. It was reported that 98 percent of the topsoil moisture in Montana was rated very short to short and 90 percent of subsoil moisture was rated very short to short. The USDA reported 67 percent of the state’s pasture and rangeland was in poor to very poor condition. It was also noted that livestock sales have been accelerated 3 to 4 weeks ahead of normal due to the extreme lack of moisture. Wildfires have resulted in poor air quality. The Lolo Peak fire has scorched 32,000 acres thus far…

Looking Ahead

Looking at the next 7 days, Tropical System Harvey is forecasted to make landfall in southeast Texas Friday morning bringing with it several days of heavy rainfall in eastern Texas, Louisiana, and the lower Mississippi Valley Friday through early next week. Precipitation totals may approach 1 foot in some locations. Elsewhere, precipitation totals may total 1-2 inches in the northern High Plains stretching southwestward into the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico. Another tropical disturbance is forecasted to bring precipitation to southern Florida and depending on its development and track, along the Southeastern coastline. An active weather is expected in the Southwest as weak disturbances move over New Mexico. Temperatures will remain below normal for much of the eastern half of the country while the western half will be above normal. The coolest anomalies will be in the South and Southeast.

Looking ahead 8-14 days, the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook calls for the greatest probability of above normal temperatures in the Northwest while the South and Southeast have the best odds of being cooler than normal. Odds are in favor of precipitation falling in the Southwest and East while the Midwest and Northwest remain dry.

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