#Drought news: W. #NE, most of #Colorado, and central #WY covered by extreme (D3) drought, and (D4, exceptional drought) was common across W. #CO

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

The heaviest precipitation fell on northwestern and southeastern parts of the country. The higher elevations of Washington and Oregon recorded 1.5 to locally 8.0 inches, with 2 to 4 inch totals reported in northwest Montana, north Idaho, and parts of eastern Washington and Oregon. On the other side of the country, Tropical Storm Eta dropped heavy rains on southern Florida. Amounts between 5 and 10 inches soaked parts of the greater Miami area. Meanwhile, moderate precipitation – with locally heavy amounts in the higher elevations – fell in association with the Pacific Northwest storm as it moved eastward. In general, precipitation totals (and drought relief) generally increased moving north and west away from southern California and the southern Rockies. Most higher elevations, in addition to a broad area across Montana, received at least 0.5 inch. East of the Rockies, moderate precipitation of 0.5 to locally 2.5 inches covered a swath from the central Great Plains northward through the upper Mississippi Valley and western Great Lakes. Similar amounts fell on a small area in the Louisiana Bayou, but across the rest of the central and eastern United States, little or no precipitation fell. The High Plains and lower elevations of the southern Intermountain West and Rockies also recorded no more than a few tenths of an inch. Above-normal temperatures broadly dominated the Nation from the Intermountain West eastward to the Atlantic Coast. Temperatures averaged 10 to 18 deg. F above normal from the southern High Plains northward and eastward through the Great Plains and Great Lakes Region. Slightly below normal temperatures were restricted to the western tier of states…

High Plains

Moderate to heavy precipitation brought some improvement into eastern Nebraska and small sections of southeastern South Dakota, but drier conditions farther west allowed dryness and drought to persist. Some deterioration to D1 was brought into a small area in south-central South Dakota, and D2 was expanded northward through much of north-central North Dakota. Across the vast majority of the region, dryness and drought remained essentially unchanged from the previous week. Now, a few areas of D1-D2 extend from northern Kansas northward through the Dakotas, with a small area of extreme drought assessed in southeastern South Dakota. Across Wyoming and Colorado, protracted and entrenched drought continues. Western Nebraska, most of Colorado, and the central tier of Wyoming are covered by extreme (D3) drought, and the most intense drought classification (D4, exceptional drought) was common across the western half of Colorado…


The Pacific storm dropped significant, widespread precipitation on areas from Washington and Oregon northeastward through the northern tier of Montana. Improvement was introduced in much of this region, although D2 to D3 conditions remain in central and southern Washington, and large areas of Oregon south of the immediate Washington border. Farther south, scattered light precipitation fell on lower elevations while moderate to isolated heavy precipitation dotted the higher mountains. Amounts were insufficient to bring improvement anywhere to south and east of northern Oregon, and conditions deteriorated in northern California, and in much of a broad swath from southwestern California eastward across New Mexico. Severe drought (D3) now covers most of Nevada and the Four Corners States, and broad sections of D4 persisted or expanded in east-central Nevada, much of central and southern Utah, north-central and south-central Arizona, and portions of northern and eastern New Mexico…


Light to moderate rain fell on much of Louisiana, but the rest of the region was warm and dry. As a result, dryness expanded in parts of Oklahoma, and a few patches of D0 began to dot the lower Mississippi Valley. More significantly, dryness and drought broadly intensified across Texas south of the Panhandle. Conditions are abnormally dry or worse across much of the state. Areas of D1 and a few patches of D2 were brought into parts of central and eastern Texas, while severe to exceptional drought is common in central Texas and the western tier of the state. Broad patches of D4 exceptional drought now cover much of the Big Bend and along the New Mexico border. Farther north, little change was noted across the Panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and near the Red River Valley…

Looking Ahead

Through November 16, 2020, heavy precipitation is expected from an interaction of a frontal system and Tropical Storm Eta in the Southeast. Up to 5 inches are expected in parts of the eastern Carolinas, and amounts of 1.5 to 4.0 inches are expected in the west-central Florida Peninsula and across the remainder of the Carolinas northward into the middle Atlantic states. Heavy precipitation is also expected in the Pacific Northwest, with 5 to 10 inches fairly common along the north half of the Pacific Coast and over the central and northern Cascades. Lesser amounts are forecast over the rest of the Pacific Northwest from the Cascades westward, and in some higher elevations across the Intermountain West. Moderate precipitation, with isolated amounts approaching 2 inches, could fall on the higher elevations in the central Rockies and in a swath across central Missouri and southern Illinois. In contrast, little or no precipitation is expected through the Plains, Gulf Coast, desert Southwest, and southern parts of California and Nevada. Meanwhile, most of the contiguous United States should average a few degrees above normal, with subnormal temperatures restricted to the northern Rockies and Intermountain West.

The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10 day outlook (November 17-21) favors above-normal precipitation across much of Alaska, the northern and central Intermountain West, northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. From the Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic Coast, odds favor below-normal precipitation outside Maine and southern Florida. It should be cooler than normal in southeast Alaska, New England, the middle Atlantic region, and the eastern Carolinas. Warm weather should cover northern and western Alaska, from the Mississippi Valley west to the Pacific Coast, and along the Gulf Coast.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending November 10, 2020.

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