U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 5 (Text)

Following is the text of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor as released by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska:


The discussion in the Looking Ahead section is simply a
description of what the official national guidance from the
National Weather Service (NWS) National Centers for
Environmental Prediction is depicting for current areas of
dryness and drought. The NWS forecast products utilized include
the HPC 5-day QPF and 5-day Mean Temperature progs, the 6-10 Day
Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability, and the
8-14 Day Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability,
valid as of late Wednesday afternoon of the USDM release week.
The NWS forecast web page used for this section is:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/forecasts/.

Weather Summary:  Early in the week, Tropical Depression Beryl
tracked northeastward from southern Georgia to along the Georgia
and Carolina coasts before moving into the open waters of the
Atlantic. Additional heavy beneficial rains from Beryl fell on
eastern Georgia, central and eastern South Carolina, eastern
North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia. Meanwhile, a cold
front pushed across the Midwest but stalled in the south-central
Plains where low pressure developed on the stationary front and
brought decent rains to Kansas and Oklahoma. The low deepened
and tracked northeastward, eventually pushing the cold front off
the East Coast by Saturday, but not before generating severe
weather and heavy rains on Friday to parts of the Ohio and
Tennessee Valleys and upper South, mid-Atlantic, and New
England. The upper-air low, however, lingered over the Great
Lakes region and New England, dropping additional rain there. A
series of Pacific storm systems brought showery conditions to
the Northwest. Hot and dry conditions prevailed in the
Southwest, Great Basin, and southern and central High Plains.
Drier but cooler weather returned to the northern Plains and
upper Midwest. Along the Gulf Coast, little or no rain fell,
with the exception of 2 to 4 inches in Florida.

The East:  Widespread, beneficial moderate to heavy rains soaked
much of the Atlantic Coast States (from Florida to Maine). Early
in the week in southern sections, heavy rains from departing
Tropical Depression Beryl dumped 1 to 6 inches of rain from
northern Florida and southern Georgia northeastward to eastern
North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Right after Beryl
departed, a slow-moving but potent cold front triggered showers
and thunderstorms, some severe, in the mid-Atlantic. Heavy rains
from the upper-air low then soaked coastal New England with up
to 9 inches of rain, causing localized flooding. In Florida,
scattered showers dropped 2 to 4 inches of rain around the Tampa
Bay area and in southern sections of the state in addition to
Beryl’s 1 to 2 inches in northern Florida. With the widespread
coverage of moderate to heavy rain this week, a 1-category
improvement was made in parts of Florida where more than 2
inches fell, in eastern parts of Georgia and South Carolina, and
from North Carolina to Maine. A few areas that were left
unchanged included most of the Delmarva Peninsula and southern
New Jersey where less than an inch of rain fell as both short
and long-term deficits lingered, and in central North Carolina
where totals were less than an inch and Year-To-Date
precipitation was still between 50-75 percent. 1, 7, 14, and 28
day USGS stream flows were above or near record-high levels in
much of the Northeast, but still below to much-below normal
farther south, away from the coastal locations.

In contrast, D2 to D4 continued in southern and southwestern
South Carolina, southwestern and central Georgia, northern
Florida, and southeastern Alabama. Precipitation amounts were
generally less than 0.5 inches. Unfortunately, Beryl made a U-
turn near Valdosta, GA, and headed away from the core drought
area of central Georgia that runs from Macon northeastward to
Augusta. The past 365 days have been the driest on record at
Augusta by over 3 inches, and Georgia climate division 6 (east-
central GA) had its driest 24-months on record, nearly 26 inches
below normal. In southeastern Alabama, southwestern Georgia, and
Florida Panhandle, 12-month precipitation has been 50-70 percent
of normal, with deficits  exceeding 20 inches. USGS stream flows
also reflect the long-term drought, with all time periods below
the 10th percentile level on June 5. The drought appeared to be
shifting or expanding westward from the Augusta to Macon area as
portions of the east have improved.

The Mid-South:  Contrasting conditions affected the region this
week, with showers and thunderstorms dumping 2 to 4 inches on
parts of central and western Kentucky, western and eastern
Tennessee, northern and central Mississippi, and northern
Alabama while under 0.5 inches of rain fell on northern and
central Missouri, parts of Kentucky, central Tennessee, southern
Arkansas, most of Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern
Alabama. The rains were welcome where they fell as conditions
had been drying out during April and May, especially in the
lower Mississippi River Valley. Accordingly, D1 was removed from
western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and northern Alabama,
but was expanded southward into southern Arkansas, and northward
into southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwestern
Indiana where 60 and 90 day totals were less than 25 percent and
less than 50 percent with deficits of 6 to 9 and 8 to -12
inches, respectively. D2 was also increased into the latter
areas. In western Kentucky, Paducah set a record dry Apr-May
with only 0.95 inches (10 percent of normal). One year ago,
conditions were the exact opposite as Fulton County (extreme
western KY) received 21.55 inches rain during Apr-May, but this
year only 1.44 inches. In Arkansas after a very wet March,
rainfall declined in April and was lacking during May, with many
stations reporting their driest May ever (Harrison, WFO Little
Rock, Hot Springs). Across northern Arkansas, although 1 to 2
inches fell, conditions had been so dry that no improvement was
made. According to the USDA/NASS, topsoil moisture was short or
very short in 58, 74, and 82 percent of LA, AR, and MO,
respectively, while pasture conditions rated poor or very poor
were 35 and 45 percent in MO and AR. And not surprisingly, most
USGS stream flows in southern Missouri, western Kentucky,
central Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and southern sections of
Mississippi and Alabama were in the lower 10th percentile.

The Midwest:  Although cooler air finally filtered into the
northern Plains and Midwest this week (temperatures averaged 2
to 6 deg F below normal), the combination of a very warm (4 to 6
deg F above normal) and dry May (less than 50 percent of normal
rain) in the lower Midwest, plus the emergence and growth of
crops that require adequate topsoil moisture, has quickly
deteriorated conditions in parts of the Midwest. In particular,
most of Missouri, southeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois
was placed in abnormal dryness, with new D1 areas in northern
Missouri and central Illinois where 90 day precipitation was
half of normal. In the short-term, 30 day percentages were less
than 25 percent in Missouri, southern Illinois, and  southern
Indiana (3 to 6 inch deficits), while less than half of the
normal rain fell on Iowa (2 to 4 inch deficits). Extension
agents in Iowa and Missouri reported curling corn leaves,
stunted or no root growth, and soybean emergence problems, with
some cracks in the soil. Stream flows have declined rapidly
during the past few weeks. According to the Iowa State
Climatologist, rapid deterioration of the crops is likely in the
next few weeks if substantial rain does not arrive as crop
moisture needs greatly increase over the period and subsoil
moisture is mostly out of reach of young plants at this stage of
development.

Farther north, 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain fell on northern lower
Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan,
slightly easing drought in the region. Although less than 0.5
inches fell on northeastern Minnesota, a reassessment of
conditions showed that surplus precipitation existed up to 9
months, hence the small area of D1 and D0 was removed. In
addition, the UP of Michigan impacts were changed to Long term
as recent wetness had eliminated short-term deficiencies. Light
rains (0.5 to 1 inch) were not enough to erase short-term
shortages (D0 and D1) in northeastern North Dakota and
northwestern Minnesota, so conditions remained status-quo.

The Plains:  With the late spring and early summer months
normally the wettest time of the year in the High Plains,
several weeks of dry and warm weather usually does not bode well
for moisture conditions. Unfortunately after a relatively wet
(and warm) April, drier and warmer weather enveloped the central
High Plains during May and early June. Some county reports
indicated that pastures have begun to show signs of stress. As a
result, D0 was increased across north-central Nebraska
(Sandhills) and into southern South Dakota. Similarly, slight
expansion of D0 was made in western and northeastern parts of
South Dakota and southwestern North Dakota based upon a very dry
30 days.  Farther south, scattered but generally light showers
further degraded conditions in southern Nebraska and western and
northern Kansas. Reports from southeastern Nebraska and Kansas
indicated poor soybean emergence, corn stress, and some stock
ponds drying up. Accordingly, D1 was expanded across western and
northern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska, with D2 increasing in
western Kansas.

In contrast, moderate to heavy (1.5 to 4.5”) rains fell on
south-central and southeastern Kansas, northern and eastern
Oklahoma, and parts of northern Texas and the Texas Panhandle,
but most of this rain fell on non-drought areas of Kansas and
Oklahoma (although northeastern Oklahoma was trending back
toward D0-D1). Fortunately in Texas, the rain did provide some
relief, with some trimming of D1 to D4 areas in the northern
Panhandle where 1 to 3 inches fell. Farther southeast, however,
another dry and warm week expanded D1 across southeastern Texas,
with some small areas degrading into D2 that had larger short-
term deficits.

The West:  A series of Pacific storm systems brought late season
precipitation to the Northwest and as far south as northern
California and the northern and central Sierra Nevada.
Unfortunately, most of the light to moderate precipitation fell
over non-drought areas, except in central Oregon where 1 to 1.5
inches fell. This precipitation brought the Water year to date
(YTD) amounts close to normal, so D0 was removed there. The rest
of the West, however, received little or no precipitation
(southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, western
Colorado, southern Idaho, and southern Wyoming). Temperatures
also soared into the 90s in southern Oregon and southern Idaho,
with triple-digit heat occurring in southern California,
southern Nevada, Arizona, and southern New Mexico. Temperatures
averaged 4 to 12 deg F above normal, especially in the Great
Basin. With the normally dry and warm season underway in the
Southwest, no changes were made this week. Through June 5, Water
YTD average basin precipitation was at or above normal in the
Cascades and northern Rockies, and below normal in the Sierra
Nevada and central Rockies. The southern Rockies were a mixed
bag (values between 69 and 109 percent). In general, the Water
YTD precipitation was above normal north of 42 degrees latitude,
and below normal south of it.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico:  Although the normal dry season
in Hawaii is underway, it has commenced quite strongly,
especially in the western islands (Kauai and Oahu). Nearly all
locations on Kauai and Oahu received subnormal April and May
precipitation, and this week was no exception as most stations
recorded minimal or no rainfall. Accordingly, all of Kauai and
Oahu was placed in abnormal dryness. In contrast, continued
light to moderate windward showers over eastern Maui (6.93
inches at Puu Kukui this week) was enough to eliminate D0 there,
however, a strong gradient remained as little rain was getting
over into the D3 area on the southwest side. Elsewhere,
conditions were maintained. There was no drought or abnormal
dryness depicted in Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead:  During the next 5 days (June 7-11), the best
chances for decent rainfall will be along the northern U.S.
border, stretching from coastal Washington and Oregon eastward
to the northern Plains and upper Midwest, and in New England. A
second area of rain is forecast from the south-central Great
Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley and southeastward into
Florida. Dry weather is expected in the Southwest and Midwest.
Temperatures should average above normal in the southern High
Plains, Great Lakes region, eastern Corn Belt, and Northeast.
Subnormal readings are forecast for the West and the southern
Atlantic Coast, with seasonable weather in the Southeast and
Nation’s midsection.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 12-16 calls for increased
odds of above-normal precipitation in the Southeast (highest
probabilities over South Carolina/Georgia/Alabama/Florida
Panhandle) and mid-Atlantic, and in the northern Plains and
upper Midwest. Best chances for subnormal rainfall were across
the Southwest, Great Basin, and Alaska. Above-normal
temperatures are expected from the central and southern Rockies
northeastward into the Northeast. Subnormal readings should be
limited to the Pacific Northwest Coast and southern Atlantic
Coast.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Rose in Washington at srose31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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