#Drought news: Ullr you’re breaking my heart — @CoyoteGulch

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

Summary

Conditions were dry and windy across much of the western United States over this past drought week, December 5-12. Wildfires, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, destroyed hundreds of structures and burned well over 100,000 acres, enhancing the state’s deadliest and costliest wildfire year on record. An unprecedented purple flag (wind) warning was posted on the 8th. Red flag warnings were posted from Colorado to Illinois on the 11th. Daily temperatures were above average across the western two-thirds of the U.S., particularly notable across the Southwest stretching into the High Plains. Snow fell across the South and Southeast, a rarity in many places, including southern Texas eastward into Georgia. The storm unexpectedly dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of northern Georgia and North Carolina, with at least several inches widely reported. The storm continued to track across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, leaving several inches on the ground there as well. Temperatures were as much as 15-25°F below average from parts of the Southern Plains to the Gulf Coast. Overall, with respect to drought, continued lack of moisture led to more degradation across parts of the West, High Plains, Midwest, and the South. A few areas improved, mainly in some of the far southern areas, where plentiful precipitation fell this past week…

High Plains

Most of the region had above-average temperatures and little to no rainfall. [ed. emphasis mine] The lack of precipitation continues a pattern of dryness in the region over at least the past couple of months. Lincoln, Nebraska, has received only 0.08 inch of precipitation since October 15, its driest such period on record. Abnormally dry conditions (D0) expanded greatly over Colorado into western Kansas, and northeastward into Nebraska. Moderate drought (D1) deteriorated to extreme drought (D2) in south central Kansas, adjoining the already extreme drought condition in north central Oklahoma. Abnormally dry conditions were expanded across the remainder of southeastern Kansas. Moisture there is less than half of average. Soil moisture levels are down and surface water supplies (stock ponds) are shrinking…

West

In November, California’s South Coast climate division reported its second and third highest monthly minimum and average temperatures, respectively, and an average of just 0.10 inch of rainfall (average is 1.51 inches for that period). This heat and dryness continued into early December. Fueled by these conditions and Santa Ana winds up to 80 mph that resulted in numerous Red Flag Warnings. These drought and weather conditions were also a contributing factor in the explosive growth of the fires that started in Southern California the first week of December. Inland, along the southeastern California/Nevada border region, abnormally dry conditions (D0) were extended northwestward into southern Inyo County (CA) and most of southern and central Nye County (NV). It has been be extremely dry across the Mojave Desert this fall. For the first time since records began in 1937, Las Vegas reported no measurable rainfall in October and November, and was on its 89th consecutive day without rain as of the writing of this report. Several other areas were also reporting no rainfall for at least two months: Death Valley (86 days); Barstow-Daggett (69 days); Needles (72 days); Kingman (67 days). In Utah, the continuing dry conditions warranted degrading the remaining abnormally dry conditions in the southeastern portion of the state to moderate drought (D1). In New Mexico, the lack of precipitation over the past two months has taken a toll on soil moisture at 2-8 inch depths at most monitoring sites. Abnormally dry conditions spread across most of the eastern part of the state, save a small area in the southeastern corner…

Looking Ahead

The precipitation pattern across the contiguous United States over the next week appears to be somewhat similar to the pattern seen over this past week: dryness from California stretching over to eastern Texas and Kansas. The far Pacific Northwest is poised to see heavy precipitation and some precipitation is expected over other parts of the Northwest and the High Plains. Most of the East Coast should also see some precipitation, with the heaviest amounts likely in New England. Looking further ahead, the Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) 6-10-day forecast (December 19-23) indicates probable dryness across the western U.S., and parts of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida. Temperatures are expected to be above normal during this time across most of the contiguous U.S.; however, New England may be colder than average. Wet conditions are expected across the northern tier of the U.S. and in the Southeast, from Mississippi to Georgia. Looking even further out, CPC’s 8-14 day forecast (December 21-27) suggests dryness will prevail across the western U.S. and southern Florida. Wetness is projected across much of the northern U.S. most of the High Plains, and much of the South and Southeast. Warmer-than-average temperatures are expected across most of the Southwest and the Southeast, while cooler-than-average conditions may occur across most of the rest of the contiguous U.S.

Ullr: Guardian Patron Saint of Skiers

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