#Drought news: DO (Abnormally Dry) trimmed in Denver area, Lake, Chaffee, and eastern Gunnison counties

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


A cold front approached the Eastern Seaboard early in the drought week, which drove Tropical Storm Maria farther away from the mid-Atlantic coast, keeping substantial impacts to a minimum. About the same time, the western edge of this cold front moved through southern Texas and New Mexico, bringing significant upslope precipitation (0.5-3.0 inches, locally greater) to the southern Great Plains and adjacent Rockies. Another cold front then moved southeastward out of central Canada, accompanied by primarily light precipitation (0.75-inch or less) to the Great Lakes region and Northeast. Towards the end of the drought week, yet another cold front progressed eastward across the Rockies, and the northern halves of the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, bringing 1-2 inches of rain to much of the region…

High Plains

Beneficial rains (generally 2-5 inches) in the past 14-days have resulted in drought depiction improvements across North Dakota and eastern South Dakota this week. Accordingly, the impacts line was adjusted to better reflect the updated conditions across this area. In North Dakota, rainfall and cold temperatures halted agricultural progress where rainfall was significant. Short-term precipitation has been helpful, but needs to be weighed against long-term drought impacts…


In southeastern Arizona, the D0 “hole” in the depiction was filled in with D0, as there is little difference in conditions between that area and its surroundings. In Colorado, D0 was removed from the Denver area, and some D0 was trimmed away from Lake, Chaffee, and eastern Gunnison Counties. These locations received ample precipitation in September, and SPIs are mostly positive across multiple timescales. In eastern Utah (Uintah County), the western part of the moderate drought area (D1) was trimmed away. This area ended the Water Year with near average precipitation, and received above average precipitation in September. In Montana, welcome precipitation and increasing soil moisture warranted significant improvements statewide this week…

Looking Ahead

During the upcoming 5-day period (October 5-9), a meandering baroclinic zone is predicted to bring 1-4 inches of rain (locally greater amounts possible) from New Mexico across the south-central Plains, the north-central Mississippi Valley, and Great Lakes region. This may be enough to warrant some improvements across Kansas next week, if this forecast verifies. Across the eastern half of the Gulf Coast region, 2-4 inches of rain are generally anticipated, but these amounts could be exceeded if Tropical Depression 16 (TD-16) moves into that region. As of 2pm EDT, Oct 4, TD-16 is located near the coast of Nicaragua. This scenario would certainly help with some of the dryness across Alabama.

During the 6-10 day period (October 10-14), odds for above normal precipitation are elevated above climatological odds from about the western slopes of the Appalachians to the Atlantic Coast, and over extreme southern Texas. This would be expected to at least offset additional degradation across this region. From about the Mississippi Valley westward to the Pacific Coast, sub-normal precipitation amounts are favored.

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