Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:
During the 7-day period (ending Tuesday morning), bitterly cold, mostly dry weather prevailed across the nation. However, light to moderate showers were observed along the central Gulf Coast, while moderate to heavy rain and mountain snow were reported in the nation’s northwestern quadrant. At the end of the period, a moderate to deep snowpack extended from the interior Northwest across the northern Plains into New England. The overall trend toward drought intensification persisted from the Four Corners to the southern Plains and south-central U.S., while modest reductions in drought intensity and coverage were made in northern Montana…
Extreme cold gripped the region, accompanied by much-needed moderate to heavy snowfall. Temperatures for the period averaged 25 to 35°F below normal from eastern Montana into the Dakotas and northern Nebraska. There were no changes made to the drought depiction in central and eastern portions of the region, while reductions in Abnormal Dryness, Moderate Drought, and Severe Drought (D0-D2) were made in northwestern Montana to account for the favorable start to the Water Year and the easing of long-term moisture deficits; 12-month precipitation climbed to near-normal levels in western Montana, but was still less than 50 percent of normal in the lingering Extreme Drought (D3) areas…
Drought intensified in the Four Corners, while heavy snow brought welcomed drought relief to northeastern portions of the region. Across Montana, Abnormal Dryness to Severe Drought were trimmed along the Canadian border to account for the favorable start to the Water Year and subsequent easing of long-term moisture deficits; 12-month precipitation climbed to near-normal levels in western Montana, but was still less than 50 percent of normal in the lingering Extreme Drought (D3) areas. While no changes were made to the Pacific Coast States, the poor start to the current Water Year was raising concerns over drought resumption from the Cascades southward into central and southern California. In particular, 90-day precipitation has averaged less than 40 percent of normal from central Oregon southward into central California, and less than 10 percent from the southern San Joaquin Valley into southern portions of Nevada and Arizona. Severe Drought (D2) was expanded over large portions of the Four Corners region, coincident with much-below-normal precipitation totals over the past 6 months (30-65 percent of normal). Farther east, Moderate Drought (D1) expanded across northern portions of New Mexico and environs, where short-term dryness (10-40 percent of normal over the past 90 days) was most pronounced…
A rapidly-intensifying storm system near the Atlantic Seaboard will produce wind-driven snow from parts of the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast. Substantial snow- and wind-related impacts are expected in New England, as well as coastal cities such as Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. In the storm’s wake, late-week temperatures will again plunge across the Midwest and Northwest. However, temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels by Sunday in all areas west of the Mississippi River. In the middle and lower Mississippi Valley and environs, some rain or freezing rain could precede the warmer weather. Elsewhere, periods of rain and snow will affect northern California and the Northwest, while dry weather prevails across the central and southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 9 – 13 calls for above-normal precipitation across much of the nation, with drier-than-normal weather confined to the nation’s southern tier save for the Southwest. Colder-than-conditions will linger in the upper Midwest, while near- to-above-normal temperatures prevail elsewhere, with the greatest likelihood of abnormal warmth from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast.
Take a trip back in time. Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data for early January over the past few years.