Click the link to read the story map on the NDMC website (Curtis Riganti):
During October, drought coverage across the U.S. decreased slightly, with regional variation. Drought expanded and worsened from southwest Virginia and North Carolina, to southwest Arkansas and adjacent Alabama, to northern Georgia and Mississippi. In Tennessee and adjacent northern Georgia, several locations experienced four-category degradations, and much of the region saw multiple-category degradations. Degradations also occurred in Hawaii, parts of the Utah-Colorado border, Arizona, New Mexico and other scattered locations.
Improvements were widespread in Oklahoma and Texas, especially in the eastern and southern portions of those states, respectively. Some improvements also occurred in the Midwest, with multiple-category improvements in Wisconsin, Minnesota and northern Nebraska. Single- or multiple-category improvements also occurred in northern North Dakota, northern Montana and portions of Oregon and Washington.
Overall, moderate or worse drought coverage dropped from 32.1% to 30.68%. Severe or worse drought coverage decreased from 18.79% to 17.65%. Extreme or worse drought coverage declined from 8.48% to 6.62%, and exceptional drought coverage dipped from 2.35% to 1.82%.
During November, some improvement to ongoing drought conditions is forecast in western Washington and Oregon, according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Isolated improvement or removal of drought is forecast in parts of central and northeast Wisconsin, and near the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Drought improvement or removal is forecast for a narrow strip extending from Wichita, Kansas, through Kansas City to west-central Illinois, and along parts of the lower Ohio River in western Kentucky and southern Indiana. Parts of central and northeast Texas, as well as adjacent southeast Oklahoma, are forecast to experience more widespread drought improvement or removal. Drought improvement or removal is also forecast on St. Thomas and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in northern Puerto Rico.
Drought development is forecast to occur in parts of southwest Virginia, northwest and central North Carolina, and parts of northern and western Georgia and east-central Alabama.
Despite a chilly end to October, temperatures across the northern Great Plains and Northwest ended the month mostly within 3 degrees of normal. A few spots experienced temperatures 3 to 6 degrees warmer than normal. Parts of central and eastern Montana, and adjacent northern Wyoming and western South Dakota, finished October near normal or a few degrees colder than normal.
October in New England was warmer than normal, with widespread temperatures from 3 to 9 degrees above normal. The last two weeks of October were especially warm in the Northeast, with much of New England checking in at 6 to 10 degrees above normal. Much of the Midwest, south-central, and Great Plains regions finished October somewhere between near normal to 6 degrees warmer than normal for October.
Most of the Southeast saw near- or slightly below-normal temperatures for October. Temperature variations in Hawaii, while widely varying, were mostly within 3 degrees of normal. Temperatures along the Arctic Coast and in southeast Alaska were mostly 1 to 3 degrees warmer than normal, while temperatures in central Alaska were mostly 1 to 3 degrees colder than normal.
Drier-than-normal weather enveloped a swath of the eastern U.S. stretching from Louisiana, Mississippi and northern Alabama to the Mid-Atlantic. Below-normal precipitation also occurred in most of New Mexico, and in parts of western Montana, northern Idaho and Washington. Wetter-than-normal weather occurred in parts of eastern Montana and western North Dakota, as well as parts of central and east-central Wyoming. A swath of above-normal precipitation also occurred along the Nebraska-South Dakota border to northwest Iowa, southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. Above-normal precipitation also occurred in north-central Texas and in the region surrounding Lubbock, Texas. In Hawaii, Oahu and the windward side of the Big Island were drier than normal during October. South-central and southwest Alaska were drier than normal during October, while the rest of the state was mostly near normal or wetter than normal…
Above-normal precipitation occurred in several parts of the High Plains during October. An area spanning the Nebraska-South Dakota border to central and northern Wyoming saw wetter-than-normal weather for the month, with some areas receiving at least twice their normal October precipitation. Above-normal precipitation also occurred in parts of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado. The southern tier of the state did not fare as well, with many spots there seeing less than half of their normal October precipitation. Localized, much drier conditions also occurred in the central portion of the North Dakota-South Dakota border, where some places reported less than half of their normal October precipitation.
Overall, drought conditions decreased across the region in October. Moderate or worse drought coverage dropped from 26.84% to 21.82%. Severe or worse drought coverage dipped from 15.07% to 11.56%. Extreme or worse drought coverage decreased from 5.46% to 2.87%, and exceptional drought coverage dropped from 0.97% to 0.71%.
The West experienced several areas of drier-than-normal weather during October. Parts of western Washington, northern Idaho and Montana were much drier than normal — receiving half or less of their normal October precipitation. Central and eastern Montana were generally wetter than normal, as were localized spots in Utah, southeast Idaho and northeast Oregon. Central and eastern Montana were generally a few degrees colder than normal, while the rest of the region generally ranged from near normal to 6 degrees above normal.
Drought coverage did not change substantially across the West during October. Moderate or worse drought coverage dropped from 31.24% to 30.63%. Severe or worse drought coverage dipped from 17.7% to 17.65%. Extreme or worse drought coverage decreased from 6.09% to 5.18%, and exceptional drought coverage increased from 0.7% to 0.76%.