R.I.P. Aretha Franklin

From The New York Times (Jon Pareles):

Aretha Franklin, universally acclaimed as the “Queen of Soul” and one of America’s greatest singers in any style, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit. She was 76.

The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said.

In her indelible late-1960s hits, Ms. Franklin brought the righteous fervor of gospel music to secular songs that were about much more than romance. Hits like “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools” defined a modern female archetype: sensual and strong, long-suffering but ultimately indomitable, loving but not to be taken for granted.

When Ms. Franklin sang “Respect,” the Otis Redding song that became her signature, it was never just about how a woman wanted to be greeted by a spouse coming home from work. It was a demand for equality and freedom and a harbinger of feminism, carried by a voice that would accept nothing less.

Ms. Franklin had a grandly celebrated career. She placed more than 100 singles in the Billboard charts, including 17 Top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits. She received 18 competitive Grammy Awards, along with a lifetime achievement award in 1994. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987, its second year. She sang at the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, at pre-inauguration concerts for Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Bill Clinton in 1993, and at both the Democratic National Convention and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968.

Succeeding generations of R&B singers, among them Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys, openly emulated her. When Rolling Stone magazine put Ms. Franklin at the top of its 2010 list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” Mary J. Blige paid tribute:

“Aretha is a gift from God. When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.”

“If these projections materialize, we’re very quickly going to lose control of how to manage the deteriorating conditions on the #ColoradoRiver” — John Entsminger #COriver #drought

Lake Mead bathtub ring Mark Henle Arizona Republic

From The Associated Press (Dan Elliott):

A vital reservoir on the Colorado River will be able to meet the demands of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest for the next 13 months, but a looming shortage could trigger cutbacks as soon as the end of 2019, officials said Wednesday.

A forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation echoes previous warnings that a nearly 20-year trend toward a drier regional climate coupled with rising demand could drain so much water from the Lake Mead reservoir that cutbacks would be mandatory.

The report increases the pressure on seven U.S. states that rely on the river to finish a long-delayed contingency plan for a shortage.

“If these projections materialize, we’re very quickly going to lose control of how to manage the deteriorating conditions on the Colorado River,” said John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which serves 2.1 million people, including the city of Las Vegas.

The Colorado River system — including the giant Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs — serves about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles (16,300 square kilometers) of farmland. Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming rely on the river, along with native American reservations and northwestern Mexico…

The Bureau of Reclamation forecast says all the users will get their usual share through September 2019. But the report projects that by October 2019, the surface of Lake Mead could fall below 1,075 feet (330 meters) above sea level, the agreed-upon point that would trigger an announcement of cutbacks that would occur sometime in the following 12 months…

The chances of a shortage in late 2019 remain at 52 percent, the same odds the bureau announced in May, he said. Lake Mead has never had a shortage and if next winter provides enough snow in the mountains that feed the river, it could be averted, Duke said.

Here’s the latest report from the Bureau of Reclamation:

The operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead in this August 2018 24-Month Study is pursuant to the December 2007 Record of Decision on Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Interim Guidelines), and reflects the 2018 Annual Operating Plan (AOP). Pursuant to the Interim Guidelines, the August 2017 24-Month Study projections of the January 1, 2018, system storage and reservoir water surface elevations set the operational tier for the coordinated operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead during 2018.

Consistent with Section 6.B of the Interim Guidelines, the Lake Powell operational tier for water year 2018 is the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier. With an 8.23 million acre-feet (maf) release from Lake Powell in water year 2018, the April 2018 24-Month Study projected the end of water year elevation at Lake Powell to be above 3,575 feet and the end of water year elevation at Lake Mead to be below 1,075 feet. Therefore, in accordance with Section 6.B.4 of the Interim Guidelines, Lake Powell operations shifted to balancing releases for the remainder of water year 2018. Under Section 6.B.4, the contents of Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be balanced by the end of the water year, but not more than 9.0 maf and not less than 8.23 maf shall be released from Lake Powell. Based on the most probable inflow forecast, this August 24-Month Study projects a balancing release of 9.0 maf in water year 2018.

Consistent with Section 2.B.5 of the Interim Guidelines, the Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) Surplus Condition is the criterion governing the operation of Lake Mead for calendar year 2018.

The August 2018 24-Month Study projects the January 1, 2019 Lake Powell elevation to be below the 2019 Equalization Elevation of 3,655 feet and above elevation 3,575 feet. Consistent with Section 6.B of the Interim Guidelines, Lake Powell’s operations in water year 2019 will be governed by the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier, with an initial water year release volume of 8.23 maf and the potential for an April adjustment to equalization or balancing releases in April 2019. Consistent with Section 6.B.4 of the Interim Guidelines, an April adjustment to balancing releases is currently projected to occur and Lake Powell is projected to release 9.0 maf in water year 2019.

The August 2018 24-Month Study projects the January 1, 2019 Lake Mead elevation to be above 1,075 feet. Consistent with Section 2.B.5 of the Interim Guidelines, the Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) Surplus Condition is the criterion governing the operation of Lake Mead for calendar year 2019.

The 2019 operational tier determinations will be documented in the 2019 AOP, which is currently in development.

The Interim Guidelines are available for download at: https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/strategies/RecordofDecision.pdf.

The 2018 AOP is available for download at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/rsvrs/ops/aop/AOP18.pdf.

Current runoff projections into Lake Powell are provided by the National Weather Service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center and are as follows: Observed unregulated inflow into Lake Powell for the month of July was 0.123 maf or 11 percent of the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010. The forecast for August unregulated inflow into Lake Powell is 0.165 maf or 33 percent of the 30-year average. The preliminary observed 2018 April through July unregulated inflow is 2.602 maf or 36 percent of average.

In this study, the calendar year 2018 diversion for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is forecasted to be 0.941 maf. The calendar year 2018 diversion for the Central Arizona Project (CAP) is forecasted to be 1.466 maf. Consumptive use for Nevada above Hoover (SNWP Use) is forecasted to be 0.277 maf for calendar year 2018.

Due to changing Lake Mead elevations, Hoover’s generator capacity is adjusted based on estimated effective capacity and plant availability. The estimated effective capacity is based on projected Lake Mead elevations. Unit capacity tests will be performed as the lake elevation changes. This study reflects these changes in the projections.

Hoover, Davis, and Parker historical gross energy figures come from PO&M reports provided by the Lower Colorado Region’s Power Management Office, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nevada. Questions regarding these historical energy numbers can be directed to Eric Carty at (702) 293-8129.

From InkStain (John Fleck):

Today’s release of the Bureau of Reclamation’s August 24-month study is what in my old newspaper days we would have called “a great news peg”. It’s been clear for a while that we’ll likely have a first-ever federal shortage declaration in the Lower Colorado River Basin in 2020, and that chance is growing. But in the interests of never letting a good Colorado River shortage news peg go unused….

A shortage on the Colorado River, which would force water supply cutbacks for users in Arizona and Nevada, is likely in January 2020, according to a new analysis from federal scientists released Thursday.

In the Bureau’s “most likely” scenario – essentially the median of a bunch of model runs reflecting various hydrologic scenarios under the current rules – Lake Mead would end 2019 at elevation 1,070.35. Anything below 1,075 and Arizona and Nevada have to reduce their use of Colorado River water.

This will happen even though Lake Mead is forecast to get more “bonus water” in 2019 – water released from Lake Powell above and beyond the Upper Basin’s legal compact delivery obligations* of 8.23 million acre feet. The current projected release is 9 million acre feet, but despite that bonus water, Lake Mead is projected to drop 9 feet next year.

I’m in the midst of a book chapter diving into this stuff, so let me obsessively share numbers because I spent all day staring at them, and they might shed some light on where the problem lies. That “bonus water” delivered by the Upper Basin is a big clue.

The Upper Basin has only been using ~4-4.5 million acre feet of water a year, well below its Colorado River Compact entitlement of 7.5maf.

Since 2000, the Upper Basin has delivered 9.7 million acre feet above the amount required under the current rules (8.23 million acre feet per year). So the Upper Basin is a) using less water, and b) delivering more to the Lower Basin. (Brad Udall, who’s been helping me think about all these numbers, sent me the graph above showing the accumulating surplus.)

By the time next year is over, the Lower Basin will have gotten 10 million acre feet of “bonus water” in the 21st century. 10 million acre feet more than the Colorado River Compact requires. Yet Lake Mead keeps dropping. It’s pretty clear where the “supply-demand imbalance” lies here. Looking at you, my Lower Basin friends.

Everyone can plausibly argue that they’re living within the rules here, but if we keep defending our actions with “But the rules say it’s OK!” the Colorado River system is going to crash.

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

The feds are imploring Western states to do more now to cut water use.

A U.S. Bureau of Reclamation forecast issued Wednesday for water in the Colorado River — an over-subscribed lifeline for 40 million people — anticipates declaration of a shortage in September 2019 that would trigger the reduced water releases from federal reservoirs in “lower basin” states including Nevada and Arizona.

Colorado and other “upper basin” states Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico would face increased scrutiny of flows from headwaters into the Lake Powell reservoir. On Wednesday, Lake Powell measured 49 percent full and Lake Mead measured 38 percent full.

“Water stored in Lake Mead and Lake Powell has blunted the impacts of the ongoing drought and helped ensure consistent, reliable water and power,” said Brent Rhees, the bureau’s regional director for the upper basin. “We must continue to work to protect water in the basin. Completing drought contingency plans this year will provide better certainty. …. We can’t afford to wait for a crisis.”

Colorado Water Conservation Board Director Rebecca Mitchell said “there’s no doubt” managing the river presents challenges. “Realistic predictions on the Colorado River are for increasing demand and decreasing supply,” Mitchell said.

Declaration of a water shortage along the Colorado River would be unprecedented. Federal officials are committed to waiting until the water level in Lake Mead drops below the elevation of 1,075 feet above sea level. Then they’d cut deliveries, first targeting Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

The water level on Wednesday: 1,078 feet.

“We’re within three feet. We’re not going to declare a shortage in 2019,” agency spokesman Marlon Duke said. “There’s a 52-percent chance we will have to declare a shortage in 2020. … We cannot just sit back and think the river is going to provide all the water we need, especially as our cities continue to grow. It all depends on what Mother Nature sends us next year.”

[…]

“We see this train coming, and we’re trying to get ready for it,” said James Eklund, Upper Colorado River Basin commissioner for Colorado, who negotiates river matters with commissioners from the other states, including California.

“Right now we’re OK. If they declare a shortage in the lower basin, it is going to pull more water out of Lake Powell. That would mean we are going to have to put more water into it,” Eklund said.

“The ‘shortage’ is like a yellow traffic signal that says, ‘Hey. Watch out. You’ve gotta be mindful of demands exceeding supply to such a degree that our system doesn’t work.’”

[…]

“We see this train coming, and we’re trying to get ready for it,” said James Eklund, Upper Colorado River Basin commissioner for Colorado, who negotiates river matters with commissioners from the other states, including California.

“Right now we’re OK. If they declare a shortage in the lower basin, it is going to pull more water out of Lake Powell. That would mean we are going to have to put more water into it,” Eklund said.

“The ‘shortage’ is like a yellow traffic signal that says, ‘Hey. Watch out. You’ve gotta be mindful of demands exceeding supply to such a degree that our system doesn’t work.’”

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman has warned states they must act. Burman demanded “drought contingency plans” by the end of the year. The publication of the Colorado River forecast covering the next two years is expected to spur planning, if not immediate smarter use of water.

Federal government scientists have concluded that climate change is creating conditions in the Colorado River Basin that are more variable with more extreme precipitation and more extreme drought. Scientists say precipitation increasingly will come from rain, rather than snow, as temperatures increase. The reservoirs constructed along the river have become increasingly important in easing the impact during a dry period that began 18 years ago and ranks among the driest periods in 1,200 years.

The forecast says river flows into Lake Powell from Colorado and other upper basin states, from snowpack, probably won’t exceed 75 percent of average next year. It says 8.23 million acre-feet of water will flow from Lake Powell to Lake Mead in 2019. That’s more than the amount expected to flow into Lake Powell.

Colorado, Wyoming and Utah depend heavily on mountain snowpack and have been delivering water to Lake Powell as required under the Colorado River Compact. The efforts in these states to develop a plan for conservation should a shortage be declared reflects a common interest of states in managing the river cooperatively — avoiding a federal intervention to control flows into and out of reservoirs.

That plan will be done by the end of the year, Eklund said.

“We in the upper basin face water shortages every year because the nation’s two largest reservoirs sit below, not above, us. We have to work with whatever falls from the heavens. Anytime we have to administer water under our priority system, someone in the upper basin is taking a shortage. That happens every year,” he said.

“We have ways to use less water. We fallow fields. We take water out of pipelines. We conserve. But we have less snow to work with than in the past and more people than ever reliant on the Colorado River system,” Eklund said…

Water advocacy groups embraced the forecast as evidence the West’s water challenges are reaching a critical point.

People in the seven southwestern states “must learn to live with less water,” said Kim Mitchell of the Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates. “Unless we take decisive, proactive steps now, major water users, farmers, cities, businesses, and the environment all will lose water. … Leaders at all levels throughout the basin must understand that more water is being pulled out of the Colorado River than is being replaced and the problem is compounded by a long-term drought and climate change.”

From The Las Vegas Review-Journal (Henry Brean):

Despite another dry winter on the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the millions of people who rely on it will avoid a water shortage for at least one more year.

According to new projections from the Bureau of Reclamation, there will be just enough water in the reservoir east of Las Vegas at the end of 2018 to stave off a first-ever federal shortage declaration that would trigger mandatory cuts in Nevada and Arizona.

But without a significant change in the weather — and additional human intervention — shortage could be unavoidable in 2020.

Forecasters now expect Lake Mead to finish the year with a surface elevation of 1,079 feet above sea level, four feet above the trigger point for a shortage. That’s actually an improvement in the near-term forecast since last month, when officials were predicting a lake elevation of 1,077 by year’s end.
Meanwhile, the outlook for next year has worsened somewhat, with a projected lake level of 1,070 — well below the shortage line — by Jan. 1, 2020.

Colorado River expert John Fleck said water users in Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico have “put off the inevitable” so far with water conservation measures that have reduced some strain on the over-taxed system…

Once a shortage is declared, Nevada will have to reduce its annual Colorado River use by 4 percent, while Arizona takes an 11 percent cut. Shortage cuts are not expected to directly impact water users in Southern Nevada, at least not at first…

The valley gets 90 percent of its water from the Colorado River by way of Lake Mead. Southern Nevada Water Authority officials say the community has already conserved more than enough to easily absorb a 4 percent cut to its river allotment, but prolonged shortages and deeper cuts could make it hard to meet future water demands as the community continues to grow…

The worst winters

From April to July, the Colorado River swells with snow melt from the mountains of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. But dry winters generally lead to below-average flows. Here are the 10 lowest April-to-July flows on the Colorado over the past 50 years by their percentage of the long-term average:

2002: 13 percent
1977: 17 percent
2012: 29 percent
2013: 36 percent
2018: 36 percent
1981: 42 percent
1990: 44 percent
1989: 48 percent
2004: 49 percent

#Drought news: Expansion in Summit, Grand, Rio Blanco, Routt, Eagle and Clear Creek counties

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

Summary

The week was drier than normal across northern portions of New England, and wetter than normal in the southern parts of the Northeast. D0 was trimmed from western Suffolk County on Long Island where 90-day precipitation was above normal, but otherwise no changes were made to the drought depiction in the Northeast. D0-D1 continued in the northern portions. In Maine, dry conditions were affecting wells as groundwater levels continued their slow decline over the summer. According to August 12 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports, 31% of the pasture and rangeland in New Hampshire was in poor to very poor condition, and 43% of the topsoil and 45% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 88% of the topsoil and 87% of the subsoil in Vermont was short or very short of moisture. As summarized by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), water restrictions or water shortages were reported in communities in New York and Massachusetts…

South

Most of the South was wetter and cooler than normal this week. Heavy rain fell from central Texas to southeast Oklahoma and much of Arkansas. Reports of 4 inches or more of rainfall were common. The rains missed other portions of the region, especially coastal Texas, the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, the worst drought areas of southwest Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana. D0-D3 contracted across much of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and northern Louisiana. But D0-D4 expanded in parts of Texas and Mississippi which missed the beneficial rains. The resulting pattern of D0-D4 in Texas reflected dryness at several time scales. Based on a crucial drought indicator, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), it was dry at the 30-day time scale in the Trans-Pecos, northern panhandle, and Gulf coast; dry at 60 days in the Trans-Pecos and northern tier counties; dry at 90 days from the southern Rio Grande, across central Texas to the north central and northeast areas; the 120-day timescale is similar to 90 days except there was more severe dryness and includes the Trans-Pecos; 6 months has dryness mostly in west to central Texas, with a spot over the Gulf coast; 9 months is the 6 month pattern except lots drier; 12 months is like 6 and 9 months; 24 months has some spotty dryness mostly central to north central and northeast. When soils are parched from dryness of these timescales, a one-week rainfall of 4 inches is helpful, but not a drought-buster. As summarized by the NDMC, water restrictions or water shortages were reported in Waco and other Texas communities, specifically media reports that recent rain did not improve water supplies in Waco where 50 million gallons on average were used daily this summer. Voluntary water restrictions were taking effect in other central Texas cities like Robinson. By early August, drought impacts in many parts of Texas included pastures and rangeland in poor to very poor condition or declining condition, forage production has stopped, stock ponds receding or low water supplies for livestock, and, in central Texas, total loss of all dryland crops. The rains this week were helpful, but not for the crops that were already lost. According to August 12 USDA reports, 36% of the corn crop and 57% of the pasture and rangeland in Texas were in poor to very poor condition, and 71% of the topsoil and 76% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 29% of the pasture and rangeland in Louisiana was in poor to very poor condition, and 43% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture; 45% of the pasture and rangeland in Arkansas was in poor to very poor condition, and 50% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture…

High Plains

Above-normal rains from the upper-level low reached parts of Kansas by the Tuesday morning data cutoff time, but the rest of the region was much drier than normal, with little rainfall reported. D0-D2 were contracted in central and southern Kansas, but the northeast part of the state was still drier than normal for the week. D2-D4 expanded in northeast Kansas, and D0-D1 were expanded in southeast Nebraska, to reflect dryness at the 3 to 9-month time scale. D0-D1 expanded, and D2 was introduced, in the Dakotas. A weaker-than-normal monsoon, coupled with record 1-month evaporative demand due to high temperatures, have stressed vegetation and lowered streamflows in Colorado. D0 was trimmed slightly in eastern Colorado where it has been wet, but D2-D3 expanded in the northwest to central region where precipitation deficits mounted and stream levels were low. According to August 12 USDA reports, 59% of the pasture and rangeland in Colorado was in poor to very poor condition, and 42% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture; 35% of the pasture and rangeland in Kansas was in poor to very poor condition. As noted by the South Dakota State Climatologist, the lack of rain and high evaporation accompanying hot temperatures have taken a toll on crop conditions in the central and north central regions. Impacts include soybeans, which are in a critical time for grain fill, are flipping their leaves to reduce water use/loss, corn is turning brown and dead in places, and stock ponds are at very low levels. Statewide, according to USDA reports, 16% of the pasture and rangeland in South Dakota is in poor to very poor condition and 38% of topsoil and 39% of subsoil is short to very short of moisture…

West

Monsoon showers gave southern Arizona drenching rains, but most of the West was drier than normal, with no rain falling across most of the Pacific Northwest and California. The Arizona rainfall improved the percent of normal statistics for the last 1 to 9 months, but there was still significant dryness at the 12-month time scale, and this region has experienced on-and-off drought for much of the last several years. D3 was pulled back in southwest Arizona, and the nearby D4 was deleted, where the heaviest rains fell. D0 expanded in Idaho and Montana, D1 extended down the coast in northern California, D1 expanded in Idaho, D1-D2 expanded in Oregon, and D3 was introduced in southwest Oregon. Lowering streamflows and reservoir storage, and increased fuel load (for wildfires) caused by unusually warm temperatures, increased drought stress in western Idaho. In Oregon, during years with poor winter snowpack and hot and drier-than-normal summers, the water systems for the smaller communities are stressed and run out of water. These water systems are stretched even in good years. As noted by the Oregon State Climate Office, a town in Baker County is running out of water and imposing fines on watering, and getting water shipped in. According to August 12 USDA reports, 63% of the pasture and rangeland in Oregon was in poor to very poor condition, and 90% of the topsoil and 88% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture (dry to very dry); in southwestern Oregon, many ranchers reported pastures one half of normal production, creeks dried up and several were reported at lower levels than observed in previous drought years. As noted by the NDMC, the dry summer in the Pleasant Hill, Oregon, area has taken a toll on saplings and prevented even mature Christmas trees from growing much; Washington residents reported unusually high numbers of dead and dying Douglas-fir trees to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources this spring and summer as drought and bark beetles ravaged the trees; and water restrictions or water shortages were reported in eastern and northern Utah and northwestern Oregon. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, over 100 large wildfires were burning across the U.S. on August 13. These were concentrated in the West, especially northern California to southwestern Oregon, Arizona, western Colorado to northeast Utah, northern Oregon to central Washington, and western Montana into adjacent Idaho. According to August 12 USDA reports, 65% of the pasture and rangeland in Washington was in poor to very poor condition, and 90% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture; 27% of the pasture and rangeland in Idaho was in poor to very poor condition, and 72% of the topsoil and 67% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 63% of the pasture and rangeland in Montana was in poor to very poor condition, and 90% of the topsoil and 56% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 61% of the pasture and rangeland in New Mexico was in poor to very poor condition, and 74% of the topsoil and 77% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 47% of the pasture and rangeland in Utah was in poor to very poor condition, and 68% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture; 30% of the pasture and rangeland in Nevada was in poor to very poor condition, and 65% of the topsoil and 60% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 35% of the pasture and rangeland in California was in poor to very poor condition, and 70% of the topsoil and 70% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture. According to USDA reports, last week 98% of the pasture and rangeland in Arizona was in poor to very poor condition. The rains this week improved pastures and rangeland to 88% poor to very poor…

Looking Ahead

Since the Tuesday morning cutoff time of this week’s USDM, heavy rain has fallen across some of the drought areas in Missouri, with additional rain over Kansas; rain was moving across Nebraska and South Dakota in the Plains and into the Ohio Valley and across parts of the Northeast; and monsoon precipitation had overspread parts of the Southwest. For August 16-20, dry weather will continue across the Far West and much of Texas; monsoon showers will bring a few tenths of an inch to locally over an inch of rain to the Southwest; and fronts and low pressure systems will bring over an inch of rain to a large area stretching from the central and northern Plains, across the Midwest, to most of the Southeast and Northeast, with up to half an inch to an inch across the Rockies to High Plains. Less than an inch of rain is expected for parts of the Great Lakes, Florida, and the Mid-Atlantic. Temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal across the West and cooler than normal in the Great Plains, with near-normal temperatures east of the Mississippi River. For August 21-29, odds favor below-normal precipitation across the Pacific Northwest to northern Plains, and above-normal precipitation for the Southwest to Southeast, Ohio Valley to Great Lakes, Northeast, and most of Alaska. There is a higher probability for warmer-than-normal temperatures in the West, along the Gulf of Mexico coast, along the East Coast, and in much of Alaska, while cooler-than-normal temperatures are favored to dominate the Plains to Midwest.