#Drought news December 22, 2022: Improvements were made in the northeast corner of #Colorado

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

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

This Week’s Drought Summary

This week, moderate to heavy precipitation fell over the northern Great Plains, parts of the Upper Midwest and much of the south-central and northeast U.S. This led to widespread improvements in drought conditions and abnormal dryness in these areas, as precipitation deficits lessened and soil moisture and groundwater and streamflow improved. Meanwhile, the West region was much drier this week than the last few, so few changes were made there, and mostly long-term drought and abnormal dryness continued across much of the region. A Kona low affected the Hawaiian islands this week, dumping heavy amounts of precipitation in the form of thunderstorms and high mountain snows on the Big Island, which led to improvements over most of the islands…

High Plains

Widespread moderate to heavy rain and snow fell over parts of the High Plains region, especially the Dakotas and northern Nebraska. Due to the growing snowpack and lessened precipitation deficits, improvements were made across much of South Dakota and North Dakota, as well as in north-central and northwest Nebraska and the northeast corner of Colorado. Improvements were also made due to recent precipitation in the Kansas City metro area. Farther west in Kansas, dry weather continued this week, and long-term precipitation deficits and soil moisture deficits continued to grow, leading to a small expansion of extreme drought to the east…

Colorado Drought Monitor one week change map December 20, 2022.

West

Compared to the last several weeks, this week was generally quieter across the West region, with the exception of snowfall in the eastern plains of Montana from the same system that impacted the Dakotas. Some improvements were made in eastern Montana, as this snowpack helped to further alleviate long-term precipitation deficits. Elsewhere across the West, mostly long-term drought and abnormal dryness continued in most parts of the region…

South

Moderate to heavy rain fell this week across the eastern half of the south region, roughly to the east of Interstate 35 in Texas and Oklahoma. Due to increasing streamflow and soil moisture, and decreasing precipitation deficits, improvements were made across much of the eastern half of the region, including a small part of eastern Oklahoma, much of Arkansas, east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. In parts of Texas that missed out on the rains, degradations were made in a few spots where precipitation deficits, and in some cases streamflow deficits, mounted. Widespread severe, extreme and exceptional drought continued across much of central and western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle…

Looking Ahead

As the current week leading up to Christmas Day comes to a close, a powerful storm system will drag a strong Arctic cold front through much of the central and eastern U.S. to the east of the Rocky Mountains. Light to moderate precipitation amounts, much of it in the form of snow in the central Great Plains and Midwest, will transition to heavier precipitation as the storm system strengthens in the Great Lakes region late in the week. Moderate to heavy precipitation accumulations are likelier in the eastern Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Into early next week (the week of Monday, December 26), heavier precipitation is also likely in northern Idaho and in far northwest California, western Oregon and western Washington.

Looking ahead to December 27 through New Year’s Eve, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s outlook favors warmer-than-normal temperatures in most of the Lower 48, with the exception of most of the Southeast region. Above-normal precipitation is strongly favored in much of the West, moderately favored from the Great Lakes south to the Gulf Coast and slightly favored in the Central and Northern Great Plains. Below-normal precipitation is favored in central and southern Texas and in New England. In Alaska, above-normal precipitation is favored in the southern half of the state, above-normal temperatures are favored in southeast Alaska and below-normal temperatures are favored in the northwest half of Alaska. For the period spanning December 29 through January 4, above-normal temperatures are favored over the entire Lower 48, and above-normal precipitation is favored over most of the Lower 48 as well. Above-normal precipitation is favored in southern Alaska, while temperatures are likely to vary from warmer than normal in the southeast to colder than normal in the Northwest.

US Drought Monitor one week change map December 20, 2022.

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