U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Sept. 11 (Text)

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

This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw some minor improvements in
parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast associated
with the passage of a strong cold front during the weekend.  In
the Southwest, southerly flows continued to deliver monsoonal
rains helping to ease drought conditions over portions of
Arizona and the Great Basin.  Some worsening of drought
conditions continued in the Plains and Texas associated with
hot, dry conditions in the region. The Northeast and parts of
the Mid-Atlantic continued to benefit from recent rainfall
leading to improvements in New York, Vermont, Maine, Delaware,
and Maryland.  The National Climatic Data Center’s “State of the
Climate” report for August 2012 indicated that the contiguous
U.S. experienced the third hottest summer on record.

The Northeast:  Widespread rains throughout the region led to
improvements from Abnormally Dry (D0) to normal conditions in
northeastern New York and northern Vermont while the Mohawk
Valley and Finger Lakes regions improved from Moderate Drought
(D1) to Abnormally Dry (D0).  Long-term deficits remain in
Massachusetts and Connecticut, however, and this area remained
unchanged.

Mid-Atlantic:  Recent rains helped to improve conditions in
parts of the Delmarva Peninsula which were upgraded from Severe
Drought (D2) to Moderate Drought (D1).  Rainfall totals ranged
from two to five inches this week in Dorchester and Worcester
Counties, Maryland as well as Accomack County, Virginia.

The Southeast:  Some locally heavy rainfall during the last week
helped to improve a small area of Abnormally Dry (D0) in south-
central Alabama.  Otherwise, the region was generally unchanged.

The South and Southern Plains:  Persistence of hot and dry
conditions led to expansion of Extreme Drought (D3) and
Exceptional Drought (D4) in northern and central Oklahoma as
well as southeastern Texas.  Temperatures soared near 100
degrees, as very windy conditions exacerbated drought in the
Oklahoma panhandle.  Rainfall in the Texas’ Hill Country totaled
no more than 50 percent of normal during the last one to two
months.  Northeastern Arkansas continued to receive rainfall
reducing drought intensity from Extreme Drought (D3) to Severe
Drought (D2).

Midwest: With the passage of a strong cold front during the
weekend, significant rains led to widespread one-category
improvements across southeastern Missouri, Kentucky, western
Tennessee, eastern Illinois, central Indiana, and southwestern
Ohio.  Local rains in western Kentucky ranged from 1.5 to 3.5
inches.  Upward of five inches of rain fell locally this week in
southeastern Missouri and western Indiana.  A one-category
improvement was depicted in northern Ohio, as consistent
rainfall during the last two weeks provided some short-term
improvement.  In the northern tier, above average temperatures
combined with below average precipitation during the last 30 to
45 days led to the expansion of Moderate Drought (D1) and
Abnormal Dryness (D0) in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Severe
drought grew to include Beltrami, Clearwater, and Mahnomen
Counties in northwestern Minnesota as well.

The Central and Northern Plains:  The region continued to
experience below normal precipitation and slightly above normal
temperatures with the exception of parts of central and eastern
Kansas.  In the Dakotas, there was widespread expansion of
Severe Drought (D2) in western North Dakota.  Within the last
month, the percent of normal precipitation was below 50 percent
throughout most of the Northern Plains.  Growing precipitation
deficits in central North Dakota led to a widespread one-
category degradation.  A small expansion in Extreme Drought (D3)
was depicted in central South Dakota as agricultural field
conditions worsened.

The West:  In the West, Colorado and Wyoming experienced the
warmest summer in 118 years while Wyoming had the driest summer
on record.  For August, the West experienced above average
temperatures and below normal precipitation in the northwestern
and northern Rockies.  Overall, precipitation in August was
above normal in Arizona, California, and parts of the Great
Basin.  During the past seven days, continued monsoonal moisture
led to one-category improvements across southern Arizona,
southeastern California, southwestern Colorado, southern Nevada,
and southwestern Utah.  Areas of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah have
experienced more than 200 percent of normal precipitation during
the last thirty days.  A small expansion of Exceptional Drought
(D4) was depicted in this week’s map as pasture and crop
conditions continued to deteriorate in northeastern Colorado.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: These regions remained
unchanged for the week.

Looking Ahead:  In the short-term, the HPC 5-Day forecast is
predicting rainfall totals in excess of two inches throughout
large portions of Texas and Oklahoma and amounts more than three
inches along the Gulf Coast regions of Texas and Louisiana.
Portions of drought stricken Colorado, Kansas, and Iowa are
expected to receive some modest relief.

The CPC 6-10 Day Outlook is projecting above average
precipitation in Alaska excluding the southeastern portions.
Below normal precipitation is forecasted for most of West, while
above average precipitation is forecasted for the upper Great
Lakes states, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic.  Temperatures around
most of the West, except coastal California, will remain above
average while most of the Plains and Midwest will see below
average conditions.  In the Northeast, above average
temperatures are predicted for much of the region.

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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