#Drought news: Minor improvements in SE #Colorado

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


An active weather pattern brought rain to areas of the northern Rocky Mountains, northern Plains, Upper Midwest and Southwest and along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida. The rain in the Southwest was from the remnants of tropical storm Bud, which came up the Gulf of California and brought much-needed moisture into the region. Tropical moisture also flowed inland off the Gulf of Mexico, bringing heavy coastal rains at the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period. A series of events brought heavy rains from Montana to Wisconsin along the northern tier of the country, with up to 6-8 inches of rain over much of Wisconsin for the week. Temperatures for the week were at or above normal for most of the country, with only the northern Rocky Mountains, portions of the Southwest, and the Eastern Seaboard being below normal. Areas of the Plains had triple-digit heat, with areas of Nebraska and Kansas having departures of 6-10 degrees above normal for the week…

High Plains

The northern portions of the region were cooler than normal with widespread rain over the western Dakotas while most of the rest of the region had temperatures that were 6-9 degrees above normal, and most areas from central and eastern Nebraska into eastern Kansas were drier than normal for the week. Precipitation amounts that were 1-2 inches above normal fell along the Nebraska and South Dakota border and in and around the Omaha metro area in eastern Nebraska. Improvements were made over most of northern and western North Dakota, where moderate and severe drought was improved and the extent of the abnormally dry areas was also reduced. A full category improvement was also made over western South Dakota as the short-term pattern has brought enough precipitation that only lingering long-term issues remain. The impact designation over the western Dakotas was also changed to long-term. In eastern South Dakota, the short-term dryness as well as the heat allowed for the expansion of both moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions to the south. Moderate drought was expanded in southeast Nebraska along the Kansas border…


Most of the region was near normal precipitation for the week, with portions of west Texas and areas along the Gulf Coast receiving above-normal precipitation. Some areas of south Texas and near the Louisiana border were 5-7 inches above normal for the week as tropical moisture flowed onshore, bringing good coastal rains. Widespread improvements were made over western Texas and into the panhandles of both Texas and Oklahoma, with a full category improvement where the best rains occurred. A full category improvement was also made along most coastal areas from southern Texas and into Louisiana. Degradation took place over much of eastern Texas and Oklahoma, Arkansas and northwest Louisiana. The short-term dryness and heat has allowed for drought to continue to develop quite rapidly. A large area of severe drought was introduced this week over southeast Oklahoma, northeast Texas and into southwest Arkansas. Moderate drought filled in most of east Texas and more of northwest Louisiana and southwest Arkansas…


Most of Montana has been quite wet over both the short- and long-term, but there are pockets of dryness remaining and developing in the northwest portion of the state. Widespread precipitation over much of eastern Idaho, Wyoming, and southern Montana has kept these areas drought free. Tropical moisture came up the Gulf of California and into the Southwest over the weekend, bringing cooler temperatures and widespread precipitation over both Arizona and New Mexico and into central Colorado. No changes were made in Arizona, but the rains allowed from some improvement to the severe and extreme drought over eastern New Mexico as well as some minor improvements in southeast Colorado. Abnormally dry conditions were introduced into northwest Montana, northern Idaho and extreme northeast Washington while moderate drought was introduced into north central Montana…

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days, an active weather pattern continues to slowly move east out of the Plains and into the Midwest, bringing with it cooler temperatures and very heavy rain. The areas forecast to have the greatest precipitation are in the northwest portions of Iowa southeast into southern Indiana, the Gulf coast of Texas, and northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri. Much of the eastern two-thirds of the country is expecting precipitation while the West and Southwest will remain dry. Temperatures will remain below normal in the areas of the Plains and Midwest where the greatest precipitation occurs while the West and Southwest should expect daily high temperatures to be 8-10 degrees above normal.

The 6-10 day outlooks show that the chances for above-normal temperatures remain quite high over most of the United States, with the exception of Alaska, the northern Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. The wet pattern looks to continue as the central and northern Plains, Midwest, and South all are showing above-normal chances of recording above-normal precipitation, with the greatest chances over the Midwest. Higher than normal chances of below-normal precipitation look to be projected from the Pacific Northwest southeast into Texas during this time as well.

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