#Drought news (August 26, 2022): Improvements in the #SouthPlatteRiver and #ArkansasRiver basins

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

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

This Week’s Drought Summary

Record-breaking rainfall led to aggressive improvements in drought conditions across parts of the South. The heavy rainfall and flooding led to communications outages at the National Weather Service office leaving climatologists without access to important data and tools needed to fully analyze the effect of this event. The magnitude of this event meant prioritizing improvements on this week’s map in these areas and in the Southwest, where the Monsoon season remains active. Drought expanded in the Northwest was warm, dry conditions continued across the region. The Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast saw a mix of improvements and degradations…

High Plains

Warm, dry conditions continued across the region. Moderate drought (D1) expanded in western South Dakota and northeast Wyoming where rainfall deficits of near 3 inches over the last 90 days dried out soils, lowered streamflow, and stressed vegetation. Additional analysis across the High Plains next week is likely to result in increasing drought severity across parts of the region due to persistent dry weather…

Colorado Drought Monitor one week change map ending August 23, 2022.


An active monsoon season in the Southwest led to improvements to drought conditions. Precipitation has improved many drought indicators including soil moisture, streamflow, and well data. Moderate drought (D2) improved in northern and southern Arizona. Moderate (D2) and extreme (D3) drought improved in southern and eastern New Mexico. Extreme drought (D3) improved in Utah and Nevada. Additional improvements are expected next week as the effect of the recent rainfall continues to be analyzed. To the north, Idaho and Montana saw an expansion to abnormally dry areas. Persistent warm, dry weather is likely to lead to additional degradations as soils continue to dry and vegetation suffers…


This week’s storm event led to broad 1 and 2-category improvements across large parts of the South. All states in the region show improvements. Rainfall close to the data cut off time (Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. EDT), data communications issues caused by the flooding, and lags in the hydrologic system in response to rainfall events means that the full impact of this storm on drought conditions is not yet apparent. Analysis will continue next week as more data become available. A few impressive statistics include the following. According to National Weather Service records, prior to this week’s event, the Dallas-Fort Worth Area went 67 days without measurable precipitation, the second longest streak on record going back to 1898. The August 21-22, 24-hour total of 9.19 inches tied for the second highest 24-hour total. The Texas State Climatologist noted that the largest flood control rain gauge total was 15.16 inches!…

Looking Ahead

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (valid August 25 – August 28) calls for rainfall over parts of the South, the Southwest, the Northern Rockies, Upper Midwest, and Northeast. Meanwhile, dry weather is expected to continue across the drought-stricken areas of the Pacific Northwest, California, the Central Great Basin, and Central Plains. Moving into next week (valid August 30 – September 1), the forecast calls for more rain across Texas, Oklahoma, and much of the eastern half of the CONUS. At 8 – 14 days, the Climate Prediction Center Outlook (valid September 1 – September 7) calls for above normal temperatures across the West, High Plains, Upper Midwest, East Coast, and interior Alaska. Below normal temperatures are predicted across southeast New Mexico, Texas, and Southern Oklahoma. Below normal precipitation is favored across much of the northern tier of CONUS. Above normal precipitation is favored for the southern tier, from New Mexico eastward.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending August 23, 2023.

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