#Drought news: Widespread expansion of extreme and exceptional drought occurred in #Utah, #Arizona, #Colorado, and #NewMexico

Click on a thumbnail graphic below 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

Over the past week, beneficial precipitation fell over the higher elevations of Washington and Oregon, in much of Montana (particularly the mountainous western half), in the Lower Missouri River and Ohio River valleys, and in New England, leading to improving conditions in parts of these regions. Meanwhile, the southeast United States (with the exception of the Florida Peninsula) was mostly dry. Dry weather also continued across much of the central and southern Great Plains this week, as well as most of the southwestern United States. With background dry conditions in many areas that did not receive rain, combined with high evaporative demand over much of the High Plains and western United States, widespread worsening of drought conditions occurred from the Great Plains to the Southwest…

High Plains

Weather in the High Plains region was generally cooler than normal this week. Temperature anomalies ranged from normal to 6 degrees below normal in Kansas to 6 to 15 degrees cooler than normal in North Dakota. Areas of light to moderate precipitation were scattered about Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and northeast Wyoming, though amounts exceeding an inch were uncommon outside of the Black Hills. Degradation of drought conditions in the region was widespread this week south of Interstate 80, where dry weather combined with recent warm, dry, and windy conditions, leading to continued loss of near surface moisture…

West

In the West this week, widespread precipitation fell in some of the mountainous areas of western Washington and Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. In some locations in western Washington, western Oregon, and northwest Montana, the recent precipitation was enough to improve drought conditions, due to lessened precipitation deficits. To the south, however, widespread expansion of extreme and exceptional drought occurred in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. To the west of the Rocky Mountains, temperatures were warmer than normal this week; readings of 9 degrees or more above normal were found in parts of California and Arizona. Meanwhile, central and eastern Montana were much colder than normal, as much of the eastern part of the state experienced temperatures 9 degrees (or more) colder than normal. Similar to much of the Great Plains, very high evaporative demand has gripped these states over the last several months and combined with the short- and long-term precipitation deficits to continue to worsen conditions. The wildfire danger has also continued across parts of the region as a result of these conditions, and portions of Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado have been closed in response…

South

Except for northwest Tennessee and adjacent northeast Arkansas, dry weather occurred in the South this week. Near-normal temperatures occurred in most of Oklahoma, northern Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, while temperatures ranging from 3 to 9 degrees warmer than normal took place in southern Texas. Drought conditions generally worsened in the region, in particular in northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma, and central and western Texas. In the southern high plains, the lack of precipitation this week occurred in a region that has had very high evaporative demand over the last few months, leading to further loss of soil moisture in areas where winter wheat is planted…

Looking Ahead

A series of storm systems and cold fronts is forecast to affect the western two-thirds of the continental United States through Monday, October 26, bringing chances of welcome mountain snow to Colorado, precipitation locally exceeding a half inch to the northern tier of the continental United States, and heavier precipitation from central Oklahoma to the Great Lakes. By early next week, colder than normal temperatures are forecast to be entrenched across the western two-thirds of the continental United States, while above-normal temperatures occur in the east. From Tuesday, October 27 through the end of the month, colder than normal weather is favored from west of the Appalachian Mountains through most of the West, while warmer than normal weather is favored in the Southeast. The forecast also favors above-normal precipitation from southwest Colorado to the Great Lakes and East Coast, while below-normal precipitation is favored in the northern Great Plains, California, and the Pacific Northwest.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending October 20, 2020.

Leave a Reply