U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 19 (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:   Showers and thunderstorms from a cool front
brought areas of rain to parts of the northern and central
Plains, Midwest, and Northeast during this U.S. Drought Monitor
(USDM) week.  The rain provided little relief to the central
Plains to Ohio Valley, where deficits over the last 6 months
ranged from 4 to 10 inches and locally over 12 inches.  Early in
the week, the remnants of an old cool front triggered showers
and thunderstorms from the southern Plains to the Southeast.
Pacific fronts brushed parts of the Northwest, but the week was
dry for most of the West.  Temperatures averaged below normal
beneath upper-level troughs in the Northwest and along the
Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast states, while above-normal
temperatures dominated from the Southwest to Great Plains and
Great Lakes.  It was a drier-than-normal week for much of
Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

The East:  Locally heavy rains (2+ inches) were enough to
eliminate the D1 (moderate drought) in southern New Jersey and
contract the New Jersey-Maryland-Delaware D0 (abnormally dry
area) and western New York D0.  The remaining D0 in eastern
Pennsylvania (around Philadelphia) was reshaped to better
reflect precipitation deficits.

In the Southeast, improvement was made to the depiction from
northeast Florida to southwest South Carolina due to beneficial
rains this week which followed the Gulf Coast deluge from last
week.  Rainfall surpluses for the last 90+ days resulted in
generally a 1-category improvement of the D0-D2 (severe drought)
across this area.  D2 was contracted in east-central Florida,
and D3 (extreme drought) was trimmed in eastern Alabama.  But D0
was expanded in southwest Florida and west central Alabama, and
D3-D4 (exceptional drought) expanded in the vicinity of Augusta,
Georgia where deficits continued to grow.  Augusta still
suffered from its driest rolling 365-day period (June 20, 2011
to June 19, 2012) ever on record (with 25.57 inches of
precipitation, or 19.16 inches below normal) and driest 2-year
period (June 20, 2010 to June 19, 2012) on record (57.41 inches
of precipitation, or 32.05 inches below normal).

The Midwest:   Very dry and abnormally warm weather during
spring tapped moisture reserves across the Midwest.  The
percentage area of Midwest states having short or very short
(dry or very dry) topsoil and poor to very poor condition
pastures and rangeland jumped significantly (10 to 20 points)
compared to the previous week.  According to June 17 reports
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than two-
thirds of the topsoil was short or very short in Illinois (70%),
Arkansas (71%), Ohio (77%) Missouri (82%), and Indiana (85%),
while a third or more of the pasture and rangeland was in poor
or very poor condition in Illinois (33%), Indiana (41%),
Missouri (47%), and Arkansas (56%).  Streams were low, ponds
were shrinking, and crops were stressed across much of the area.
The USDM drought depiction showed deteriorating conditions
across the region.  D0 expanded eastward to eastern Tennessee,
western Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the
westernmost county in Maryland, and northward further into Lower
Michigan.  D1 spread across most of Missouri, Illinois, and
Indiana, expanded in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and crept
further into Iowa.  D2 engulfed most of Arkansas and advanced in
southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, and in western
Kentucky and Tennessee.  Islands of D2 appeared in northern
Missouri and Indiana as well as central Illinois.  And an area
of D3 was introduced along the confluence of the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers.  This week was generally drier than normal,
but in the midst of this drought depiction deterioration, heavy
showers and thunderstorms dropped notable amounts of rainfall in
local areas.  While not enough to make up for months of
deficits, rainfall amounts of 2 inches or more locally held the
drought expansion at bay in parts of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.  A large area of SL impact type was
introduced to reflect the combination of short-term
(agricultural) and longer-term (hydrological) impacts.

Widespread heavy rains moved across the Upper Mississippi
Valley, with 3 inches or more reported in southeast Minnesota
and adjacent Wisconsin.  D0 was pulled back here where the
heaviest rains fell.

The Plains:  Bands of heavy thunderstorms moved across southeast
Nebraska to south central Kansas, northern and eastern Texas,
and parts of North Dakota.  In the central Plains, the 3+ inch
rainfall dented the D0 in southeast Nebraska and the D2 in north
central Kansas, and improved soil moisture conditions from
really bad to not as bad.  Half or more of the topsoil was rated
short or very short in Texas (56%), Kansas (62%), and Nebraska
(63%), and nearly half (48%) of the pasture and rangeland in
Kansas was rated poor to very poor.  But otherwise the rains
simply held at bay any further deterioration.  The rest of the
central Plains was not as fortunate.  D0-D2 expanded across the
rest of Kansas to South Dakota, where dry (short to very short)
topsoil jumped to half (50%) of the state.  To the north,
locally heavy rains eased drought conditions in part of
southwest North Dakota, but the rains missed the other end of
the county, so D0 and D1 expanded in Slope, Bowman, and Golden
Valley counties.

In the southern Plains, the patchwork of thundershowers resulted
in expansion of some D0-D2 and contraction of other D0-D3 in
parts of Texas.  D0-D2 expanded in Oklahoma, with D3 expanding
in the Oklahoma panhandle and into southwest Kansas.  The impact
boundaries were also adjusted in the southern and central Plains
to reflect the changing nature of hydrological and agricultural
(long-term and short-term) impacts.

The West:  Scattered showers dropped an inch or less of rain in
the vicinity of Tucson, Arizona, and in the southern and central
Rockies, and showers brought rainfall across Montana (mostly
northern Montana) and the northern portions of the Pacific
Northwest.  But with essentially no rainfall for much of the
West this week and large wildfires burning from California to
Wyoming, changes mostly involved deterioration of the drought
depiction.  D0 expanded in Montana and adjacent Idaho, with D1
introduced in southeast Montana.  D0-D3 expanded in Wyoming, and
D1-D3 grew in Colorado and Utah.  D2-D3 grew in northwest New
Mexico.  Growing numbers of dead livestock, drying wells, and
communities without water prompted expansion of D1-D3 in
Arizona.  More than two-thirds of the topsoil was rated short to
very short in Wyoming (71%), Colorado (79%), and New Mexico
(95%), and half or more of the pasture and rangeland was rated
poor or very poor in Nevada (55%), Colorado (58%), Wyoming
(59%), California (60%), Arizona (67%), and New Mexico (85%).
The impact boundaries were adjusted northward to reflect growing
short-term and long-term impacts.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: Below-normal precipitation at
time scales ranging from 7 days (this week) to the last 6
months, combined with low streamflows and the development of
three large wildfires, prompted the addition of an area of D0 to
northwestern Alaska.  Showers dropped generally an inch or less
of rain across the Hawaiian Islands this week, with most
stations averaging below dry season normal, but no change was
made to the drought depiction.  The week was drier than normal
across eastern and northern Puerto Rico.  This pattern holds for
the month to date, but streamflow was generally near to above
normal, so Puerto Rico remained drought-free.

Looking Ahead: During the June 21-25, 2012 time period, the
Pacific Northwest coast, the central Plains to western Great
Lakes, the mid to northern Atlantic Seaboard, Deep South Texas,
and much of Florida can expect the highest probability of
precipitation.  Temperatures are forecast to be above normal
from the intermountain West to the Great Plains and Southeast.
For June 26-July 4, below-normal precipitation is expected
across most of the West, southern and central Plains, Midwest,
and mid-Atlantic states, with wetter-than-normal conditions
expected in the northern Plains, New England, Florida, and from
monsoon showers in the Southwest.  Above-normal temperatures are
predicted for most of the country except the west coast early in
the period and the Northeast.  Wetter-than-normal conditions are
expected for southern parts of Alaska, warmer-than-normal for
the northeast, and cooler-than-normal for the southern and
western coastal areas.

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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