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U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Jan. 22 (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: Status quo is the word this week as an
unseasonably warm and dry weather pattern persisted, leading to
no changes on the map.

Mid Atlantic: Most of the Mid Atlantic saw very beneficial rains
on the order of 1 to 5 inches across eastern West Virginia,
western and southern Virginia and the western Carolinas. They
couldn’t have come at a better time given the low-demand season
and receptive soils. Longer-term streamflow averages are
beginning to respond in kind. These factors led to sweeping 1-
category improvements and a substantial reduction of drought
across the region, particularly in Virginia and western North
Carolina.

The Southeast: The Southeast also shared in the warmth last week
with Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia seeing rains as well,
although not as widespread as what was observed next door in the
Mid Atlantic. The rains in southeast Alabama, northern Georgia
and eastern Tennessee were enough to remove the D0 in Tennessee
and reduce the drought’s intensity with 1-category improvement
in southeast Alabama and northern Georgia. The lingering dryness
is still cause for concern, especially in the southern and
coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. The rains and
resultant improvement carried over into upstate South Carolina
with a reduction of drought on its western flank where rains of
2 to 4 inches prevailed. Continued drier than normal dry season
conditions in Florida has also led to some slight expansion of
D0 to include all of the Florida Panhandle as well as the
southern peninsula counties.

The South: Very little of the wet stuff fell across the entire
South, leading to mostly status quo with some slight expansion
of D3 in northeastern Oklahoma and extreme southeastern Kansas.
There was also a gentle nudging east of the D3 in north-central
Texas. Cooler temperatures and continued assessment of last
week’s rain led to some more 1-category improvement of the
drought across western and northern Arkansas. This also spilled
over into the Bootheel region of Missouri, with improvement
being noted there as well.

Midwest: The rains of two weeks ago led to some more carryover
improvement in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois where D1 was removed
from Ohio, D0 was eliminated from southern Indiana and reduced
in northern counties, and D0 was removed from east-central
Illinois.

The Plains: Most of the Plains states experienced above-normal
temperatures, but were bone dry as well. Aside from the slight
expansion of D3 in southeastern Kansas noted earlier, the rest
of the region remains in a holding pattern as we push toward
spring.

The West: The lack of snow continues to heighten concern across
much of the West. While there is plenty of time to make up
ground, last year’s low pack across the central and southern
Rockies in particular has several interests watching closely to
see if a strong finish to winter can bring about more promising
streamflow forecasts for the dry season come summer. This leads
to mostly status quo as far as changes are concerned for this
week’s map. Some slight deterioration is noted this week with
the addition of D0 in northwestern Montana around Glacier
National Park and to the west into the Idaho Panhandle in and
around the Bitterroots. D0 has also expanded slightly across
more of southwestern Idaho in the Clearwater and Salmon River
Mountain ranges as well as into northeastern Oregon’s Wallowa
and Blue Mountains.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: Improvements continued on Kauai
and the Big Island (South Point region) over the past week as
beneficial rainfall has brought steady improvement to the
pastures and native vegetation, particularly in the higher
elevations.

Conditions in Alaska and on Puerto Rico remain unchanged from
last week.

Looking Ahead: The NWS HPC 5-Day forecasts show a good shot of
well above normal warmth (6 to 12 degrees) filtering across the
Southwest, the Intermountain West and the entire Rocky Mountain
chain from border to border, along with the southern Plains and
Gulf Coast region sharing in the warmth. Cooler temperatures are
expected in the Great Lakes region and eastern seaboard. As for
precipitation during the next five days, the best chances appear
to be in the Southwest centered over Arizona and along the West
Coast as well as the Tennessee Valley and Mid Atlantic.

The CPC 6-10 day outlook (January 29 thru February 2) calls for
a greater likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the
Alaskan interior, the northern Plains and the Upper
Midwest/Great Lakes regions, with above-normal temperatures most
likely being confined to the Gulf Coast and Carolina coastal
counties. Precipitation is looking promising for most folks east
of the Mississippi River while the Southwest/Intermountain West
along with California and Oregon look to be below normal during
this time frame.

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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