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U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Sept. 18 (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 improvements in drought
conditions in portions of the Lower Midwest, Southern Plains,
and the South while drought-stricken areas of the Northern Great
Plains and Upper Midwest continued in a dry pattern leading to
some minor degradation of conditions.  Across the West, warm and
dry conditions prevailed leading to some minor deterioration of
drought conditions in Colorado.  The cumulative effect of the
monsoon season led to continued improvements throughout portions
of the Great Basin and Four Corners region.  In the Eastern
U.S., overall drought conditions remained unchanged as dry
conditions prevailed in most of the region.

The Northeast:  Drought conditions in the Northeast remained
unchanged during this week as a result of prevailing dry
conditions.

Mid-Atlantic:  The Mid-Atlantic region was generally quiet this
week with only minor expansion of Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
in northern Virginia and minor improvements in central Maryland
from Moderate Drought (D1) to Abnormally Dry (D0).

The Southeast:  Some locally heavy rainfall during the period
helped to improve small sections of Abnormally Dry (D0) in
northwestern and central Alabama as well as minor improvements
from Exceptional Drought (D4) to Extreme Drought (D3) in
northeastern Georgia.  Otherwise, the region was largely
unchanged.

The South and Southern Plains:  Persistence of dry conditions in
western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle led to expansion of
Exceptional Drought (D4) in this region.  Heavy rainfall in
portions of northeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, and
southern Texas led to minor improvements across all categories.
Locally heavy rainfall across central, southern, and western
Arkansas continued to ease drought conditions from Extreme
Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2).

Midwest:  In the northern tier, persistent above-average
temperatures combined with below- average precipitation led to
the expansion of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1)
in central and northern portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Recent heavy rainfall events during the past 30 days led to
improvements in central and southern Illinois, southern Indiana,
and eastern Kentucky.

The Central and Northern Plains:  The region continued to
experience below normal precipitation with the exception of
extreme southeastern Kansas.  In the Dakotas, short-term
rainfall deficits and local agricultural impacts led to the
expansion of Moderate Drought (D1) in north-central South Dakota
and west-central North Dakota.

The West:  In the West, warm and dry conditions prevailed across
large portions of the region excluding the Southwest and east of
the Continental Divide, which experienced cooler than normal
temperatures.  In the rain-fed coastal mountains of northwestern
Oregon, a small area of Abnormally Dry (D0) was added in
response to short-term rainfall deficits and low stream flows.
Some minor improvements from Severe Drought (D2) to Moderate
Drought (D1) in southern and eastern Nevada were made in
response to above average precipitation during the past 60 days
with areas receiving more than 200% of normal and improving soil
moisture conditions.  In Arizona, the cumulative effect of the
monsoon in northeastern Arizona led to a reduction of Extreme
Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2) over the Chuska Mountains of
the Navajo Nation.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico:  On the Big Island, a small
area of Extreme Drought (D3) was added to the southern tip of
the island in response to agricultural impacts in the area.  In
eastern portions of Oahu along the Koolau Range, recent
improvements led to the removal of a swath of Abnormally Dry
(D0) on the northeastern facing slopes.

Looking Ahead:  In the short-term (3-5 days), the NWS
Hydrological Prediction Center’s forecast calls for relatively
dry conditions throughout most of the contiguous U.S. coming
into the weekend except for a series of minor, upper-air
disturbances that mainly will impact the Midwest and portions of
the Northeast.  These disturbances in addition to the passing
cold front will bring cooler air into the eastern half of the
nation, while the West will continue to experience above-normal
temperatures and dry conditions.

The CPC 6-10 Day Outlook is projecting above-average
temperatures across Alaska excluding the Aleutians and Northwest
Arctic regions with wetter than normal conditions over interior
Alaska.  In the contiguous U.S., temperatures across most of the
West, except Coastal California, will remain above average.
Wetter than normal conditions in the West will be isolated to
portions of the southern Great Basin, Four Corners, and southern
Rockies while the Great Plains region will continue to remain
dry.  In the eastern U.S., wetter-than-normal conditions are
predicted over the Northeast and Florida.

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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