#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) expanded to Four Corners

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


As usual, there were winners and losers with respect to precipitation this week. Heavy rain fell across much of the Midwest, particularly notable in an area stretching from eastern Iowa northeastward to Michigan where upwards of 600% of typical precipitation for the week was received. Rainfall was below-average across most of the Northeast, the South, and Southeast. Additionally, temperatures were almost summer-like for several days from the Midwest to the Northeast, where departures were up to 15-30 degrees F above average in places, making it feel like August rather than October in many places. The dryness and heat brought about expansion of dry areas across parts the South, Southeast, and Northeast, while the Midwest saw the most improvements this week…

High Plains

Dry conditions improved in southeastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas (see Midwest section).

Abnormally dry conditions were expanded to the San Juan Mountains and Four Corners in southwest Colorado. This area did not receive as much moisture as areas to the north, west, and east during a recent wet spell.

Much of the Dakotas continued to see improvements, with recent rainfall helping to slowly alleviate ongoing drought conditions. While there are lingering long-term deficits, local experts in North Dakota observe that farming conditions are currently very good…


Montana is experiencing slowly improving conditions, including vegetation and soil moisture. However, in Valley, Roosevelt, and McCone Counties, empty stock ponds remain and there are still large cracks in the soil. This week, conditions improved enough such that exceptional drought (D4, the most dire category) in the north near this area was improved one category to extreme drought (D3). Overall in Montana, large deficits still remain across the state. For example, Glasgow is 5 inches below normal for the year-to-date (53% of normal) and Zortman is 4.75 inches below normal (69% of normal). Wildfires still continue to burn in areas.

In Oregon, conditions have improved and moderate drought (D1) in Oregon and southern Washington were upgraded to abnormally dry (D0), which better reflect current impacts in the region…

Looking Ahead

For the week of October 17-23, the extreme Northwest and the South/Southeast are likely to receive above-average precipitation, very heavy in the Northwest and up to 3 inches in parts of the South. Less than half an inch of precipitation is forecast across the mid-Atlantic states, the Northeast, and the High Plains into Montana. Looking a bit further to the October 22-26 timeframe, above-normal temperatures are expected over the western U.S, while parts of Texas may see below-average temperatures. Below-normal precipitation is also forecast for the western U.S. Looking even further out to the week of Oct 24-30, most of the contiguous U.S. is favored to see below-average precipitation, while above-normal precipitation is favored across the Appalachians and eastward. The Great Lakes region is also favored to receive above-normal precipitation at this time.

Here’s the latest 3 month drought outlook map from the Climate Prediction Center.

Seasonal Drought Outlook October 19, 2017 through January 31, 2017.

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