#Drought news: One category improvement in parts of Crowley, Otero, Las Animas, Baca counties

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

Summary

Frontal systems brought thunderstorms and some heavy rainfall to parts of the Plains, the Midwest, and the South. While rainfall was enough to reduce or alleviate drought conditions in some places, such as Arkansas, northern Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Michigan, it wasn’t enough in other areas, such as southwestern Missouri and Idaho, as deficits and impacts remain. This past week saw temperatures slightly below average across much of the nation, with areas of eastern Montana and western North Dakota 4-8 degrees F cooler than normal, which helped to slow, but not halt, drought development. Conversely, parts of the Southwest, Texas, and areas along the eastern northern tier of the U.S. were well above their average temperatures. In Texas, notably, the widespread heat exacerbated evolving and ongoing drought…

High Plains

Conditions along parts of the northern tier of the U.S. bordering Canada continue to deteriorate. This week the remaining area of normal conditions from northwestern North Dakota into northeastern Montana (see West for more information about Montana) was degraded to abnormally dry (D0). The area has missed out on all the rains from the last few storms.and the soil has been very dry, dating back to the previous year’s drought. In Kansas, conditions improved enough to contract D0 in the central and south central part of the state eastward. In east central Kansas, some areas of moderate (D1), severe (D2), and extreme (D3) drought also improved. However, there are still longer-term deficits and impacts remaining in the state. In eastern Colorado, D3 was improved to D2 in Crowley County and northern Otero County, where there were a few isolated thunderstorms in the area over the past week. D2 improved to D1 in southeast Las Animas County and western Baca County, where up to 2 inches of rain fell. Eastern Baca and Prowers Counties also received up to 2 inches of rain, allowing for improvement from D1 to D0. No changes were made this week to the depictions in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming…

West

Similar to North Dakota, some areas across the northern tier of Montana continued to deteriorate. The area of abnormally dry conditions (D0) was expanded eastward to connect with the dry area in North Dakota. Also along the northern tier, the two severe drought (D2) areas expanded slightly westward. However, improvements were made in southern Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, and Park counties in the southwest where precipitation has been more abundant. Conditions there are now considered normal. Drought continues to plague Oregon and grow worse in areas. This week the area of D2 expanded through most of the southern part of the state. In Utah, D2 improved to moderate drought (D1) across eastern Washington County and western Kane and Garfield Counties. This area has received its typical moisture since the beginning of July. No changes were made this week to the depictions in Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Additionally, no changes were made to the depiction in Idaho, but, as an aside, some precipitation did provide enough relief to Boise to make the region smoke free for the first time in a couple of weeks. Conditions still remain dry…

Looking Ahead

Over the week beginning Tuesday August 28, the Midwestern states are expected receive the highest precipitation, including northern Missouri, which as been plagued by extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought conditions. Temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s (F), and even the 100s in places, across most of the central and southern tier of the U.S.. The Northeast will begin with temperatures in the 90s, but is forecast to cool into the 70s and 80s by the end of the Labor Day weekend. Daytime highs in the 70s and 80s are also forecast across much of the northern tier. Southern Florida and the central Appalachians are forecast to receive up to 3 inches of rainfall, while most of the West and the High Plains are expecting a quarter of an inch or less, with no rain forecast for much of the region. Looking further ahead at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day Outlook (September 2-6), the probability of dry conditions is highest in the Northwest from southern Alaska into Oregon, northern Idaho, and western Montana., while wet conditions are most likely across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. During this period, below-average temperatures may be seen over the much of the forecasted wet areas — upper Northwest into Alaska — while above-average temperatures are forecast for most of the contiguous U.S., especially the eastern half. Looking two weeks out (September 4-10), the likelihood of above-average temperatures is highest in central to southern California and in the eastern third of the contiguous U.S. The probability of below-average temperatures is highest across most of Alaska and Montana. The probability of above-average precipitation is highest over a swath of the central U.S. stretching northeast from New Mexico to eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, and western Wisconsin, with the highest probability of dryness now expected across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

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