U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Aug. 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/.

The Northeast: A fairly dry week over much of the region did not
warrant any large-scale changes.  Some rains late in the period
did allow for some improvements over southern New York and north
central Pennsylvania, where several counties were removed from
D0 status and some improvements were made to D1 conditions.
Lingering dryness over the short term did allow for some
introduction of D0 conditions in northern Vermont this week.

Mid-Atlantic: Heavy rains, with some amounts approaching 12
inches, helped to ease some of the drought issues in the
Delmarva region.  Categorical improvements were made where the
greatest amounts of rain occurred and other areas were adjusted
throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.  Short-term
conditions throughout much of the area are recovering while
long-term issues are lingering.

Southeast:  As tropical storm Isaac sent some initial rain bands
through the region, areas of south Florida picked up over 5
inches of rain.  Since January 1, the Miami International
airport has recorded 68.48 inches of rain, compared to a normal
of 39.45 inches and 38.82 inches last year.  With the last
remaining areas of D0 conditions removed this week, this is the
first time since June 29, 2010, that no abnormally dry or
drought conditions are being depicted in Florida.  Rains
throughout much of eastern Georgia allowed for some easing of
drought conditions there, and improvements were made to D3/D4
areas along the South Carolina coast.  In North Carolina, D1 was
eliminated and much of the remaining D0 was improved as well.

South: The Gulf coast of Louisiana as well as portions in east
Texas continued in a wet pattern.  At the end of the current
U.S. Drought Monitor period, Hurricane Isaac was making landfall
along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.  The full impact of
this storm and inland remnants will be considered next week for
possible improvements.

Midwest:  After a very dry summer, some areas have been in a
wetter and cooler pattern over the last several weeks.  Over the
last week, the heaviest rains were recorded from northeast
Kansas into southern Iowa and into central Illinois and
northwest Indiana.  Where the heaviest rains occurred,
improvements were made, but it should be noted that many of the
row crops will not benefit from these rains and pastures have
had minimal improvement so far.  Improvements were made in
Michigan as an assessment of the impact of rains over the last
several weeks allowed for the removal of D2 and a reduction of
D1 conditions as well.  Slight improvements were made over
portions of southern Minnesota by removing the D3 from the
southwest corner of the state while D1 was expanded in the
central portion of the state.

The Plains: Another mostly dry week over most of the plains
states.  Areas of Kansas, extreme southeast Nebraska, and
portions of Oklahoma did record precipitation amounts that
approached 4 inches in places.  In these areas, full categorical
improvements were shown specifically in northeast and south
central Kansas, southeast Nebraska and central Oklahoma.  In
North Dakota, dry conditions led to the expansion of D0
conditions in the western half of the state and D2 expanded in
the southwest.  In the northeast portion of North Dakota, D1
also expanded.  In South Dakota, D3 expanded in the western
portion of the state while D1 expanded in the north central.
More water restrictions were going to take effect in Sioux Falls
as the flow on the Big Sioux River was below 50 cfs.  In
portions of southeast Oklahoma, D4 was expanded to include more
of the area that has been missing out on the recent rains.  Even
with rains in portions of Texas, the consensus was that the
impacted grazing lands are not showing much change, so no
improvements were made.  Degradation was shown in west Texas
into New Mexico where a new area of D4 was introduced.
Conditions also intensified and expanded in south Texas where
another new area of D4 was introduced and all drought intensity
levels pushed farther to the north.  Some improvements were
shown to D0 and D1 levels in central and eastern Texas as the
area was refined to account for the most recent precipitation in
the area.

The West:  The active rainfall pattern continued over portions
of Arizona, western New Mexico and southern Nevada.  Many
locations recorded well over 2 inches of rain during the last
week and some even over 3 inches.  With the recent round of
precipitation and a wet pattern for most of the month,
categorical improvements were made over central Arizona, western
New Mexico and southern Nevada.  In southern Arizona, the D3 was
completely eliminated.  In Colorado, the dry conditions and
impacts in the northeast part of the state allowed for the
expansion of D4 out of Nebraska, and D3 expanded across much of
southeast Wyoming and into Colorado.  In southeast Colorado, D4
expanded where conditions continue to worsen.  Some improvements
were made in central and southwest Colorado where D3 was
improved to D2, based upon recent rains.

In Wyoming, the last several months have continued to be dry and
many of the indicators were worsening as well.  For southwest
Wyoming, D2/D3 was expanded to the east and north while D0 was
introduced in the far northwest part of the state.  Nevada had
D3 conditions expand into more of the Great Basin and D2
expanded to the north to include portions of southern Oregon.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: No changes were made in Hawaii,
Alaska or Puerto Rico this week.

Looking Ahead: Over the next five days (August 29-September 2)
the remnants of Hurricane Isaac will continue to move inland and
impact the area from Louisiana into Arkansas and portions of
Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.  Areas of the Midwest may see
up to 7 inches of rain as the system moves through the region.
The southwestern United States looks to stay in an active
pattern with scattered showers from Arizona up into Utah and
Idaho.  Temperatures look to be well above normal over much of
the country, with departures of 6-9 degrees Fahrenheit over the
High Plains.

The CPC 6-10 day forecast (September 3-7): Temperatures are
expected to be above normal over most of the southern and
eastern United States as well as through the Rocky Mountains,
with portions of Alaska, the West Coast, and Midwest having a
chance for below-normal temperatures.  The best chance of above-
normal temperatures is along the southern Plains and into the
Southeast.  The best chances for above-normal precipitation are
in the Central Plains and into New England.  Below-normal
precipitation can be expected over the western United States and
Texas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Middleton in Washington at cmiddleton2@bloomberg.net

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

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