#Drought news: Small changes in depiction for W. #Colorado

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


At the beginning of the drought week, a cold front stretched from the Upper Mississippi Valley southwestward across the Central Plains and far southern Rockies. East and south of this front, daytime temperatures reached the 70’s and 80’s, with the exception of New England which topped out only in the 60’s. During the ensuing 48 hours, the progressive northern portion of the cold front reached the New England coast, while the southern portion remained over the Central Plains. This area, from the Northeast across the Midwest to the south-central Great Plains, served as the focus for much of this week’s precipitation. By Saturday, the southern portion of this frontal boundary made some eastward progress, apparently in response to an approaching 500-hPa shortwave trough. This overall setup was conducive to steering Hurricane Nate northward from the central Gulf of Mexico to the central Gulf Coast, where it made landfall as a category-1 hurricane near the mouth of the Mississippi River, on Saturday night. The remnants of Nate brought additional rainfall to the Appalachians and Atlantic Coast states on Sunday and Monday…

High Plains

In much of northern and central Kansas, a one-category improvement was rendered to the depiction, in areas that received 1-3 inches of rain above their normal weekly amounts. In contrast, D0 was introduced to southeastern Kansas, which experienced another dry week coupled with warmer-than-normal temperatures. In southeastern Nebraska, D1 was removed this week, and the “S” impact label in the western panhandle was changed to “L”, primarily due to recent wetness and the end of the growing season for summer crops. In southeastern South Dakota, additional trimming of the D0 area was performed, as anywhere from 2-6 inches of precipitation has fallen in the past two weeks. The Impacts line was adjusted accordingly. A hard frost (28 degrees F or colder) was reported on the morning of October 10th, bringing the growing season to an end for most of the state…


During the past two weeks, PNPs in most of California remained below the 25th percentile. At 30-day and 60-day timescales, the PNP pattern reveals isolated areas of 150% or more in the Sierras, southwestern, and far southern California. Rivers and streams remain in the lowest quarter of the observed distribution statewide. Firefighting resources have been taxed severely this week with the wildfires raging across north-central California; especially in and around Santa Rosa (Sonoma and Napa Counties). Precipitation that fell in the past 1-2 weeks favored the trimming away of some D0 in western New Mexico this week. However, D0 was retained in much of Caltron and Cibola counties, based on ACIS SPIs out through the past 120-days, low stream flows, and AHPS PNPs out to 60-days. In Arizona, the short-term drought status report for September, produced by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, provided a recap of the Southwest Monsoon season. It noted that the majority of monsoon season rainfall fell between mid-July and early-August. This was followed by below-average rainfall and warm temperatures, which contributed to late-summer dryness. With the monsoon season therefore ending earlier than usual, much of southeastern, eastern, and central Arizona ended up with D0. In western Colorado, small-scale improvements were made thanks to beneficial precipitation that fell during the past two weeks. All short-term SPIs, and most longer-term SPIs are now showing conditions have returned to near-normal in these areas. Some one-class improvements were made in central and northeastern Montana this week. Reassessment of conditions next week in western and southeastern Montana may yield additional changes as well…

Looking Ahead

During the upcoming 5-day period (October 12-16), a band of heavy rain (2-3 inches) is predicted from southeastern Iowa across Lower Michigan to extreme northern Maine, with similar totals anticipated over extreme southeastern Florida, and the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest. One to two inches of rain is forecast over portions of the mid-Atlantic region. This raises the possibility of drought relief next week from the Midwest into northern Maine.

During the 6-10 day period (October 17-21), odds for above-normal precipitation are elevated over the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, as well as over Florida. Odds for below-normal precipitation are enhanced across most of the Great Plains, the southern Rockies, eastern portions of the Southern Intermountain Region, from the Ohio Valley and central Great Lakes region to the New England coast, and southwestern and south-central Alaska.

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