U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Oct. 9 (Text)

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

Weekly Summary: The past week featured a series of low-pressure
systems that moved across the northern tier of the contiguous 48
states, with their associated cold fronts moving southward to
the gulf coast.  These cold fronts brought some rains to
portions of the contiguous 48 states, with the heaviest amounts
across the northern Great Plains, Mid-west, Mid-Atlantic, and
Florida.  Most of the areas that are west of the Rockies
remained dry this week, under the influence of a persistent
upper-level ridge. According to the United State Department of
Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA/NRCS)
below-normal temperatures were observed for most of the central
portions of the contiguous U.S., with above-average temperatures
over much of Alaska.

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic:   The depiction of abnormally
dry conditions (D0) across the Great Lakes region of New York
was modified in response to light-to-moderate rains (0.5 -1 .5
inches).  Near the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, the area of
D0 was trimmed, while slight expansion was included just east of
the Rochester area.  Farther south, across central Maryland and
northern Virginia, drought and dryness were removed from the
depiction due to recent rains (some reports of approximately 3.0
inches across central Maryland with lighter amounts over
northern Virginia).  Additional improvements were made across
the Delmarva (Accomack County) in response to recent rains.
According to the National Weather Service, Advanced Hydrologic
Prediction Service (AHPS), over 3.0 inches fell on this county
during the last 30 days, pushing the 60-day totals to greater
than 100% of normal.

The Ohio Valley:  The recent wet pattern allowed for widespread
removal of drought and dry conditions across the Ohio Valley.
Based on near-normal precipitation during the past 30, 60, and
90-day periods, burn bans being lifted, and stream flows getting
closer to normal, severe drought (D2) was removed from southern
Indiana.  Additional improvements were made across southern
Illinois, based on the National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS) report for this week, which reported 100% of the
agricultural topsoil was in the adequate to surplus range. For
subsoil, the report indicated moisture was 0% in very short and
29% short.  Improvements also extended into Kentucky, which,
despite a dry week this past week, has experienced a wet pattern
during much of the past 30 days (some areas received over 8
inches of precipitation).

The Southeast: Some improvements (the removal of drought
depiction) were made across northern Georgia.  The past 7 days
were relatively dry across much of the state, while the
improvements were made based on cumulative rains during the past
30 days.  Rainfall totals from Gwinnett to Hall to Hart Counties
during the past 30-days are above-average, but an overall dry
pattern for the long-term limited the scope of the removal of
drought and dryness.    No large changes were made across the
Carolinas or Alabama.

The lower Mississippi/Delta area: As part of a reassessment of
conditions, moderate drought (D1) and abnormal dryness (D0) were
almost completely removed from Louisiana.  Additional removals
of drought designations were pursued across southeastern
Arkansas and Tennessee, based on 30 and 60-day rainfall totals
(above-average) and SPI values out through 24 months, which
indicate normal or wet conditions for time periods less than 6
months across eastern Tennessee, most of Mississippi, and
southeastern Arkansas.

The Central and Southern Plains:  Minor changes were made to the
depictions across Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  Continued dry
conditions prompted the expansion of drought conditions across
Oklahoma and central Kansas.  Across Kansas, continued dry
conditions prompted the expansion of extreme drought conditions
to cover the entire south-central portions of the state.
Impacts range from agricultural  (Kansas winter wheat was at 65%
planted by Sunday, slightly ahead of average, however, it was
only 25% emerged, which is below average) to ecological (the
Cheyenne Bottoms Wetlands had seen a dramatic reduction in
coverage of water).

Farther north, reports out of Nebraska had less than one-third
of winter wheat fields as emerged, 12 days behind average.
Across Missouri, rainfall totals ranging from 0.5-1.4 inches did
little to alleviate severe and extreme (D3) drought conditions,
so no changes were made.

The Upper Great Lakes and Northern Great Plains: Rainfall
amounts that varied from 0.2 inch to 1.8 inches were recorded
across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, which prompted
some removal of severe (D2) and extreme (D3) drought.  Those
rains did not translate eastward, and little to no rain fell
across Wisconsin during the reporting period for this week’s
U.S. Drought Monitor.  Accordingly, severe drought conditions
were expanded across central Wisconsin and southeastern
Minnesota.

Exceptional Drought (D4) coverage was increased over central
South Dakota.  Below-normal temperatures may have helped to
reduce evaporation concerns, but no precipitation fell east of
the badlands.  Extreme drought and severe drought were also
expanded, with severe drought no covering almost every county in
South Dakota.  Across the lower terrain of northern Montana,
abnormally dry conditions expanded northward to cover the
remaining portions of the state, east of the continental divide.
The drought designation across northwestern Montana was changed
to “S” as most impacts are of the types typically associated
with droughts less than 6 months.

The Rockies:  Minor revisions were made this week over Colorado,
where 1-category improvements were made over the northeastern
portions of the state.  The improvements were based on recent
beneficial moisture, which has continued to accumulate.  Impacts
in drought-stricken areas have lessened slightly.  Standardized
precipitation indices (SPIs) are positive through 90 days along
the Front Range, so a reduction to D1 was included in this
week’s depiction. Extreme drought (D3) was trimmed to
accommodate and the D4 was reduced, now limited mostly to the
far northeast corner of CO where long-term SPIs are still below
-2.0.

The Southwest: No changes were made to the regional depiction
this week.

The Pacific Northwest: Abnormal dryness (D0) was expanded across
western portions of Oregon and Washington.  Ongoing fires are an
indication that the wet season has yet to begin across this
region.

Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico: No changes were pursued to the
drought depiction across Hawaii.  Minor trimming was performed
on the abnormal dryness (D0) area over Puerto Rico that received
significant rains (1.0 - 2.4 inches).  Likewise, minor
adjustments to the depiction of D0 were included in this week’s
Drought Monitor to reflect where precipitation amounts exceeded
1.0 inch.

Looking Ahead:  In the ensuing 5 days, National Weather Service
forecasts call for a fairly wet pattern across the northern tier
of the contiguous 48 states. Particularly wet conditions are
likely across the Pacific Northwest and from the central Great
Plains to the Great Lakes.  Minimal amounts of rainfall are
likely across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

During the 6-10 day period, the outlooks from the Climate
Prediction Center indicate enhanced odds for below-average
temperatures across southern Alaska and the Pacific Northwest,
with enhanced odds of above-average temperatures elsewhere.
Wetter than average conditions are more likely across the
Pacific Northwest, northern Great Plains, and from the Great
Lakes to the central Gulf Coast.  Dry conditions are more likely
than normal across the southern Rockies and southern High
Plains.

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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