#Drought news: (D2) and extreme (D3) drought designations remain for many locations in the #TX and #OK Panhandles, E. #NM, #Colorado, and W. #KS

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor.

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

This Week’s Drought Summary

Precipitation fell across much of the northern tier states and the eastern half of the CONUS this week. Much of the eastern United States has experienced increased dryness over the past 30-60 days and above normal temperatures. The heaviest rains missed many of the D0 and adjacent areas, warranting D0 expansion for several locations in the eastern CONUS. The Northeast (New York to New England) has seen conditions drastically deteriorate this week. Agricultural impacts are being reported across many areas in New England, particularly Maine, and 7-day USGS streamflows are below the 10th percentile for much of the Northeast Region. Areas just east of the Rockies missed out on some of the heavier precipitation this week, which fell over central Kansas, central Oklahoma, and northern Texas. This allowed for some improvement, mainly in areas that with D0 and D1 designations at the start of the week. However, severe (D2) and extreme (D3) drought designations remained for many locations in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, eastern New Mexico and Colorado, and western Kansas. Mixed improvements and degradation in the northern Rockies and High Plains…

High Plains

Similar to the Southern and Central Plains, many areas in the High Plains Region have fallen victim to above-normal temperatures, high winds, and a lack of precipitation in recent weeks. Some reduction in drought coverage in areas receiving the heaviest precipitation throughout the region, most notably central Kansas where many areas received 2-6 inches of rainfall. However, elsewhere 30 and 60 day deficits continue to increase, corresponding with D2-D4 equivalent SPIs and 25-50 percent of normal precipitation over the past 30 days across most areas depicted in drought. Soil moisture also continues to suffer across western North Dakota, much of Wyoming, and all of Colorado (CPC showing soil moisture below the 5th percentile for much of Colorado). There have been reports of low reservoir levels in North Dakota. Colorado has reported several episodes of 100-degree days in the southeast portion of the state in recent weeks, as well as cattle being sold and failing winter wheat crops. As such, severe drought (D3) is status quo this week for southern and southeastern Colorado…


Much of the West remains status quo this week. Montana saw the most change, as 7-day rainfall accumulations over 1 inch were able to dig into some of the short-term departures, mainly in D0 areas. However, extreme eastern Montana missed out on rainfall this week. YTD SPIs are less than -2 in Richland County and USGS 7-day average streamflows are below normal (10th-24th percentile) near and just over the North Dakota/Montana state line, which warranted some D1 introduction there…


South-central Oklahoma and northern Texas saw very heavy precipitation this week (4-8 inches). However, accumulations were lacking a bit in areas with D2 and D3 designations. Above-normal temperatures, high wind events, and below-normal precipitation leading up to this week has led to high evapotranspiration rates and hardened soils, increasing runoff. So more rainfall over extended periods is needed for improvement in some of the driest areas in the Central and Southern Plains. Elsewhere in the Southern Region, 30-60 day deficits continue to be the headliner. Although much of the region saw precipitation, many D0 and adjacent areas saw near to below normal rainfall, warranting some D0 expansion in the Tennessee Valley and eastern Texas…

Looking Ahead

June 25-29 shows increased probabilities for precipitation across much of the northern tier states (0.5-1 inch), Midwest (widespread 1-1.5 inches), and Gulf Coast states (1-2 inches, with locally higher amounts), according to the Weather Prediction Center’s (WPC) quantitative precipitation forecast. New England is likely to miss out on any meaningful precipitation (only 0.25-0.5 inch, with locally higher amounts favored). Lesser rainfall amounts are favored for the Southern and Central Plains, which does not bode well for areas experiencing severe and extreme drought. Positive temperature anomalies and high winds are also expected to continue over the High Plains and Central Plains, according to WPC’s 4-7 day gridded forecasts. Much of the Intermountain West are favored to see below normal temperatures.

The CPC 6-10 day outlook (June 30-July 4) shows a highly amplified pattern with mean troughing over the western CONUS and mean ridging over the eastern CONUS. This pattern favors enhanced odds for below normal temperatures over the western CONUS and above normal temperatures everywhere east of the Rockies, except for portions of the Southeast (near normal). Above normal precipitation is favored over the northern Rockies and Northern Plains, in association with the mean trough over the West. Above normal precipitation is also favored in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Weak probabilities of below normal precipitation are favored in southeastern areas of the Four Corners Region and southern Texas, with enhanced probabilities for below normal precipitation in the northern Great Lakes, extending to the Northeast.

And here’s the one week change map ending June 23, 2020.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending June 23, 2020.

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