U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 28 (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:   A cool front brought showers and
thunderstorms to the central and northern Plains and Upper
Midwest early during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week, but
it weakened as it scraped against high pressure over the eastern
U.S., dropping minimal precipitation in the Ohio Valley.
Another front brought limited rain later in the period.
Tropical Storm Debby inundated Florida with flooding rains
beginning Saturday, June 23.  Areas of rain peppered the
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States as the fronts limped eastward.
An upper-level trough brought waves of rain to parts of the
Pacific Northwest and extreme northern Rockies, and small areas
of very light convection developed in the Southwest as the
summer monsoon tried to get started.  Otherwise, upper-level
high pressure dominated with hot, dry, and windy weather
blanketing much of the West and central Plains.  The hot and dry
air mass spread eastward as the week progressed.  It was a
drier-than-normal week for Puerto Rico but the precipitation
pattern was mixed for Alaska and Hawaii.

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic:  Areas of showers and
thunderstorms moved across the Northeast this week with rains
locally over 2 inches along the coast and in Maine.  Above-
normal rain fell over the D0 (abnormally dry) areas of
Massachusetts and Connecticut, but it was not enough to ease
long-term deficits.  The week was drier than normal further
inland.  With above-normal temperatures and limited rainfall,
topsoil moisture continued to decline in most states.  According
to June 24 reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA), 55% of the topsoil in Maryland was short or very short
(dry or very dry).   Spots of D0 were added to southeast New
York and northern Vermont-northeast New York where deficits from
7 days to 6 months were greatest.  D0 and D1 (moderate drought)
expanded into the Washington, D.C. area and adjacent northern
Virginia where rainfall has been spotty, deficits abound, and
yard impacts were being reported.  D0 expanded in central and
south central Virginia.

The Southeast and Deep South:  Tropical Storm Debby dropped 5
inches or more of rain over most of the Florida drought areas,
with widespread 10+ inch storm totals.  Up to 23 inches of rain
was reported by a CoCoRaHS observer in Wakulla County.  The
tropical inundation all but eliminated drought from Florida.
Only a small patch of D0 (with an L impact designation) remained
along the southwest coast where Debby’s rainfall totals of only
an inch or two did little to eliminate deficits which have
accumulated over several months.  D0 also remained over parts of
the Florida panhandle.  Extreme southern and southeast Georgia
received rain from the northern edge of Debby, with pullback of
the southern edge of the D0-D4 (exceptional drought) areas.

Soaring temperatures and little to no rain expanded drought
across other parts of the Southeast.  Temperatures consistently
topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the USDM week across
northern parts of Alabama and Georgia, baking the dry soils.
Topsoil moisture content declined 30 to 40% compared to last
week in the Gulf Coast states, exceeding 50% short or very short
by June 24 in Mississippi (64%), Alabama (59%), and Georgia
(53%).  D0-D4 expanded in Georgia, and D0-D3 (extreme drought)
expanded in Alabama.  D0 expanded in central North Carolina and
in the Southern Mountains of North Carolina, where stream and
groundwater levels were low, and in Upstate South Carolina.  The
shifting drought boundaries and growing short-term deficits
resulted in the L drought impacts area in the Southeast being
changed to SL impacts.

The Deep South states of Mississippi and Louisiana saw expansion
of D0 and D1 (moderate drought).   D2 (severe drought) grew in
northern Louisiana.  Arkansas experienced expansion of D1-D2 and
the appearance of several D3 areas.  D1-D3 grew slightly in
southern Missouri.  In Arkansas, June 24 USDA reports rated 89%
of the topsoil short or very short and 73% of the pastures and
range land in poor or very poor condition.

The Midwest and Tennessee Valley:   Showers in the Upper Midwest
brought relief to some drought areas.  But further to the south,
it was another dry week with 90+ degree temperatures which
continued to dry soils, stress crops, and lower stream levels,
with abnormally dry and drought conditions expanding over a
large area.  D1-D3 grew from Tennessee to Indiana and Illinois,
D1 expanded in Ohio, and D0 expanded into southern Wisconsin and
eastern Tennessee and slightly in West Virginia.  An oval of D1
was introduced to northeast Tennessee-southwest Virginia and to
southern Wisconsin-northern Illinois.  Expansion and contraction
of D0 occurred in Wisconsin and of D0 and D1 areas in Iowa.
Beneficial 1-2 inch rains shrank the D0-D1 in Upper Michigan and
the D0 areas in Minnesota.  USDA reports indicated a rapid
deterioration in pasture and range land condition, with the poor
to very poor percentages in several Ohio Valley states jumping
10 to 20% in the past week and 30 to 45% in the past 4 weeks.
As of June 24, more than half of the pastures and range land
were rated in poor to very poor condition in Missouri (58%) and
Indiana (60%), and nearly half in Illinois (49%).  More than
two-thirds of the topsoil was rated short or very short in
Indiana (91%), Missouri (87%), Illinois (84%), Kentucky (82%),
Ohio (75%), Tennessee (73%), and Michigan (70%).  As of June 25,
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, was 15.38 inches of precipitation below
normal for the year, Paducah, Kentucky was 13.01 inches behind,
and Evansville, Indiana 11.94 inches behind.

The Plains:  Excessive heat occurred in the Plains this week,
with daily maximum temperatures soaring past 100 degrees late in
the week.  Healy, Kansas, whose record spans 111 years, set an
all-time record high for the month of June when the temperature
reached 113 degrees on June 25.  In all, over 500 daily maximum
temperature records were broken nationwide during this USDM week
(June 19-25).  According to June 24 USDA reports, over half of
the topsoil was rated short or very short in Texas (64%),
Nebraska (64%), Kansas (63%), Oklahoma (60%), and South Dakota
(51%), and half of the pasture and rangeland was rated poor or
very poor in Kansas (53%).  For a second week in a row, bands of
heavy thunderstorms moved across southeast Nebraska to northeast
Kansas.  The 1-3 inch rains (and locally 3+ inches in northeast
Kansas) trimmed the D1-D2 areas, but elsewhere widespread
expansion of D0-D2 occurred in Nebraska and D1-D3 in Kansas.  To
the south, D0-D3 expanded across parts of Oklahoma and Texas,
and to the north, D0 expanded in North Dakota.  South Dakota had
both expansion (where it continued dry) and contraction (where
beneficial rains fell) of D0-D1.   The L/SL impacts boundary in
Texas was moved westward.

The West:  Pacific fronts associated with an upper-level trough
brought an inch or more of rain to the coastal areas of Oregon
and Washington and lesser amounts further inland this week, and
a few tenths of an inch of rain fell with scattered showers over
the Four Corners States, but otherwise the West continued bone
dry.  By the end of the week, temperatures topped 100 degrees
from Tucson, Arizona to Glasgow, Montana.  The tinder dry
conditions, hot temperatures and gusty winds fanned wildfires
across the West, from New Mexico to Montana and California to
Colorado, with twice as many large wildfires burning by the end
of the week as at the beginning.  June 24 USDA reports indicated
most of the topsoil in New Mexico (93%) and Colorado (90%) was
rated short or very short of moisture, with over half so rated
in Wyoming (73%) and Utah (63%).  More than half of the pasture
and range land was rated in poor or very poor condition in New
Mexico (90%), Arizona (72%), Colorado (70%), Wyoming (66%),
Nevada (61%), and California (60%).  The Standardized
Precipitation Index (SPI) measures moisture deficits.  SPI
values, at time scales from 30 days to 12 months, were in the D4
equivalent category in many areas across the West.  To reflect
these conditions, a general one-category degradation of the USDM
D0-D2 areas was made across Colorado, with D0-D2 expanding
across Wyoming. D2 -D3 expanded across parts of the
Intermountain Basin.  D2 expanded in New Mexico, D0-D1 in
Montana, and D0 in southeast Idaho.  The SL/S impact boundary in
north central Utah was shifted north.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico:  Continued below-normal
precipitation, combined with above-normal temperatures, below-
normal streamflow and spreading large wildfires, contributed to
the expansion of D0 into northeast and east central Alaska.  It
was another drier-than-normal week for Puerto Rico, but
streamflows continued generally near normal, so the island
remained free of a drought or abnormally dry designation.  The
rainfall pattern in Hawaii was mixed, with many windward
stations receiving 3 inches or more of rain while the leeward
stations were drier than normal with only a few tenths of an
inch of rainfall.  No new drought impacts were reported, so no
change was made to the drought depiction.

Looking Ahead: During the June 28-July 2, 2012 time period, a
high pressure ridge is forecast to dominate the central and
eastern United States.  Showers and thunderstorms may develop
along the northern and western fringe of the ridge, bringing a
chance for rain to states in an arc from New Mexico to the
Dakotas to Ohio, with the greatest chance for half an inch or
more total from eastern Nebraska to northern Illinois.  Rain is
possible in the Pacific Northwest and in the Northeast, southern
Texas, and southern Florida.  Otherwise, conditions will be very
dry.   Very hot temperatures will affect most of the country
from the Intermountain Basin to the East Coast.  This
temperature pattern is expected to continue for July 3-11, with
below-normal precipitation stretching from the Intermountain
Basin to the central and southern Plains, across the Midwest, to
the interior Northeast.  Above-normal precipitation may occur
over New Mexico, from coastal Florida to South Carolina, and
(early in the period) over the Upper Mississippi Valley.
Northern Alaska is expected to be drier and warmer than normal,
and southern coastal Alaska wetter and cooler than normal.

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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