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U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Feb. 5 (Text)

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


Precipitation in this U.S. Drought Monitor week was dominated by
a strong frontal passage that produced a tornado outbreak on
January 29-30.  In the two day period, there were 78 reports of
tornadoes in the NOAA Storm Prediction Center’s Storm Reports,
65 on January 29th and 13 on January 30th, all of which are
considered preliminary. Tornadoes were reported in Alabama,
Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.  Tennessee
appears to have the largest number of reports at 19.  There was
one tornado-related fatality in Georgia, outside of Atlanta.
This storm dumped above normal precipitation from the Southern
Plains into the Midwest and from the Deep South through upstate
New York.

The Southeast: The powerful storm on the 29th and 30th of
January provided some much needed precipitation to the region.
Areas of Exceptional (D3), Severe (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1)
as well as Abnormal Dryness (D0) were alleviated from northeast
Alabama, through northern Georgia and up the Appalachians into
Virginia.  Tennessee and Kentucky also saw eradication of
Abnormal Dryness (D0) in the western parts of their states.
Conversely, Exceptional Drought (D3) expanded in southern
Georgia and Moderate Drought (D1) expanded in southern Alabama
and Mississippi. Moderate Drought (D1) was introduced in South
Florida.

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Areas of Moderate Drought (D1)
and Abnormal Dryness (D0) improved this week in Appalachian
Virginia and West Virginia.  All other areas remained unchanged.

The South and Southern Plains:  The areas from eastern Oklahoma
through Arkansas saw significant improvements in Extreme (D3),
Severe (D2), and Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness this
week with the passing of the January 29-30 storm. In southern
Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, areas of Exceptional (D4),
Extreme (D3), Severe (D2), and Moderate Drought (D1) expanded as
did Abnormal Dryness (D0).  In South Texas, this was largely due
to dry conditions compounded by above normal temperatures and
wind.

The Central and Northern Plains and Midwest: Conditions
continued to improve in the Midwest.  The area from Missouri up
through eastern Iowa and into Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio saw
relief of Severe (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal
Dryness (D0).  Additionally, South Dakota saw small improvement
in Exceptional (D4) and Extreme Drought (D3).  Precipitation
fell in other areas of this region but frozen soils led to high
runoff and little moisture seeping in to the ground.
Improvements were largely kept to areas with soil temperatures
above freezing.

The West: Exceptional Drought (D4) expanded in Colorado this
week while Abnormal Dryness (D0) abated in central Idaho and
western Montana.  Other areas of the West remained unchanged.
Snowpack improved in some places this week but is still below
normal across much of the West.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: Two weeks of decent
precipitation have improved D0 to D3 conditions across the
Hawaiian Islands with each Island seeing at least come
improvement.  Likewise, central Alaska also saw improvement in
Abnormal Dryness (D0) due to enhanced precipitation.  Drought
conditions remained unchanged in Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead: During the February 7-11, 2013 time period, there
is an enhanced probability of precipitation moving from the West
Coast early in the period, across the central U.S., and into the
Midwest and Mid-Atlantic by the end of the period. Above normal
temperatures are expected to move from the central U.S. early in
the period to also cover the East and Gulf Coasts by the end of
the period.

For the ensuing 5 days (February 12-16, 2013), the odds favor
normal to above normal temperatures mostly east of the
Mississippi River.  Below-normal temperatures are likely from
the Mississippi River to the West Coast.  Precipitation is
likely to be normal to above-normal from the Northern Rockies to
the Southern Plains and all points eastward.  Below-normal
precipitation is likely along the West Coast. The odds of above-
normal precipitation are greatest across the Northern Plains,
into the Great Lakes, all down the East Coast, and in southern
Texas.  In Alaska, temperatures and precipitation are likely to
be above-normal across the state.

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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