U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Aug. 7 (Text)

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


The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic:  Rainfall over the past week was
scattered and temperatures were above normal for most locales.
As such, most of this area stays status quo this week. Minor
adjustments of note include some reduction of D0 and D1 in West
Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, where some locales saw 3
to 5 inches this past week. Low streamflow and groundwater
levels remain a concern heading into fall for parts of Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware and northern Maine.

The Southeast:   Parts of the Southeast received a good soaking
last week while others missed out, leading to a mixed bag of
changes on this week’s map. The heaviest precipitation fell over
eastern Tennessee, the western Carolinas, northern Georgia,
eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, leading to 1-category
improvements along the drought’s perimeter in these regions.
This hasn’t removed drought, but instead has only tightened the
gradients between the haves and the have-nots, as conditions can
vary wildly over very short distances. The underlying hydrologic
drought in Georgia and Alabama remains well seated, with low
streamflows being commonplace as they are well into a two-year
drought.

The Midwest: Conditions continue to improve in the eastern half
of the region as another week of good rains came to parts of
Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Again, generally speaking, the
drought continues to improve and is being pushed west,
tightening the gradient along the way with 1-category
improvements noted in eastern and southern Ohio, eastern and
central Kentucky and north-central Indiana. Parts of the core
region of drought in this region continue to see deterioration
this week marked by a slight expansion of D2/D3 in southeastern
Indiana. Continuing east, both Iowa and Illinois see expansion
of D3 and D3. Missouri and Arkansas continue to worsen as the
heat and dryness continues its grip, leading to an expansion of
D4 in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri along with a new
area of D4 in extreme west-central Missouri adjoining Kansas.
Reports of water-related impacts are ticking upward with each
passing week as mandatory restrictions continue to ramp upward
around the region. As the drought continues, this will
undoubtedly become a more prevalent issue as the agricultural
season passes and attention turns to next year’s crops or herds.

The Great Plains and South:   Same song, tenth verse last week
as much of the Plains saw the pattern of excessive heat and
dryness persist, leading to more expansion across Nebraska,
Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas. As a result, D3 has moved
across east central Nebraska and into west central Iowa, D3
pushes more to the northeast in Kansas, and D4 expands in
western Kansas and connects up with a growing area of D4 in
western Oklahoma. In addition, water emergencies and shortage
concerns in several communities result in a new D4 region in
east central Kansas over into extreme west central Missouri. The
only real area of improvement noted this week is in the Black
Hills region of South Dakota, where generally cooler weather and
recovering streamflows lead to a small improvement from D3 to
D2, which extends into extreme northeastern Wyoming. After some
improvement of late, the heat and dryness bring the return of a
bit more D0-D3 into the Panhandle and western reaches of Texas.
The other change of note this week lies in northern Louisiana
after a recent dry spell led to a slight southward push of D0
and D1 there.

The West:  The West saw a mixed bag of results over the past
week with the monsoon rains bringing relief to some and nothing
much to many others. A slight expansion of D1 this week is noted
in Montana on the heels of an expansion of D0 northward to the
Canadian border last week. Most of Colorado remains unchanged
this week but the heat and dryness does lead to a joining of the
D4 between east central CO and western Kansas. The D3 also
extends out of southeast Colorado and the Oklahoma Panhandle
into more of northeastern New Mexico along with a slight push
westward of the D2 in north central New Mexico this week.
Northwestern New Mexico has benefitted from a good start to the
monsoon, leading to a reduction of D2 and D3 in the northwestern
part of the state into the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation
lands. Longer-term conditions and impacts in the Navajo Nation
have led to a state of emergency Executive Proclamation due to
the extreme conditions on their lands in the Four Corner region.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico:  Conditions remain unchanged on
this week’s map for Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead:  The 5-day forecast (August 8-12) shows a shift
in the heat from the country’s mid-section to the West as high
pressure builds in there. This leaves prospects for
precipitation high and dry for most locations west of the
Rockies and increases the chances for the wet stuff over the
Midwest, Northeast, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast and Atlantic coastal
reaches of the Carolinas and Georgia. Above-normal temperatures
will accompany the high pressure in the West and the cool down
to the east of the Rockies will be a welcomed respite for most
of the Great Plains and Midwest.

For the period August 13-17, above-normal temperatures are more
likely across Alaska, the Southwest, Great Basin, southern
Rockies and southern Plains. Interestingly, no regions are
forecasted to see below-normal temperatures during this period.
The chances for below-normal precipitation are greatest in
eastern and central Alaska, the southern Plains and lower
Midwest while the odds of above-normal rains are best situated
over the Southwest, northern Plains and eastern Montana as well
as along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast from Florida
northward to Virginia.

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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