U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 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 improvements along the
Eastern seaboard as the first storm of the Atlantic Hurricane
season - Tropical Storm Andrea - made landfall over Florida late
last week bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms
to the region. Post-Tropical Cyclone Andrea moved up the East
Coast on Friday and Saturday combining with a cold front to
deliver heavy precipitation and flooding to the Mid-Atlantic
states and New England. Across the Great Plains, scattered
shower activity led to some modest improvements in areas of
drought over the eastern halves of Kansas, Oklahoma, and South
Dakota. In the Midwest west of the Mississippi, continued shower
activity led to improvements in drought areas of western Iowa
and southwestern Minnesota. In the South, modest rainfall led to
minor improvements over portions of the Texas Panhandle, central
and southeast Texas, and northwestern Louisiana. Out West,
unseasonably hot and dry conditions were felt late last week and
during the weekend as record-breaking heat gripped Arizona,
California, and Nevada. Some relief from the heat came to the
region late Sunday afternoon and Monday as showers and
thunderstorms developed over northwestern Nevada and northern
California. In Alaska, unseasonably warm temperatures, reaching
the low 70s, were observed in south-central Alaska; southeast
Alaska, the Interior, and western Alaska experienced below-
normal temperatures.

The Northeast: The Northeast saw widespread improvements across
most of the remaining areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate
Drought (D1). Moisture from Post-Tropical Cyclone Andrea
combined with a frontal system brought significant rainfall
amounts ranging from two-to-six inches leading to the removal of
areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) in New Jersey, New York,
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Temperatures throughout the region were below normal during the
past seven days.

Mid-Atlantic: The Mid-Atlantic region received widespread heavy
rainfall (two-to-six inches) associated with Post-Tropical Storm
Andrea, helping to bring relief to areas of Abnormally Dry (D0)
in North Carolina marking the first time since April of 2010
that the state has had no depictions of drought or abnormally
dry conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor. In West Virginia, 7-
day rainfall accumulations in the range of one-to-three inches
led to improvements in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) in southern
West Virginia. Temperatures were near normal to slightly below
normal during the past seven days.

The Southeast: The Southeast saw improvements in areas of
Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) in Florida and
Georgia as Tropical Storm Andrea delivered heavy rainfall across
the region. Rainfall accumulations ranging from two-to-six
inches helped provide relief to areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and
Moderate Drought (D1) in the Florida Panhandle, southwestern and
south-central Florida, as well as southwestern Alabama and
southwestern Georgia. Temperatures were near normal during the
past week.

The South: During the past week, modest rainfall fell over much
of the South with some locally heavier accumulations occurring
over portions of eastern and central Texas. In east Texas,
conditions continue to improve and areas of Abnormally Dry (D0)
and Moderate Drought (D1) saw one-category improvements in
response to rainfall accumulations of one-to-three inches over
during the past week. In the Texas Panhandle, some locally heavy
rainfall accumulations (2-5 inches) led to one-category
improvements in areas of Exceptional Drought (D4) and Extreme
Drought (D3).  In the Trans-Pecos and west Texas, modest
rainfall led to one-category improvements in Brewster and Pecos
counties in areas of Moderate Drought (D1). In west Texas, one-
category improvements were made in areas of Exceptional Drought
(D4) and Extreme Drought (D3) as a result of rainfall
accumulations of one-to-two inches during the past week. In
south-central Texas, continued dry conditions led to the
expansion of areas of Exceptional Drought (D4) and Severe
Drought (D3). In northwestern Louisiana and southwestern
Arkansas, modest rainfall (1.5-3 inches) led to one-category
improvements in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate
Drought (D1). Temperatures across the region were generally
near-normal during the past week.

Midwest: Continued cool and wet conditions across parts of the
region have renewed planting delays of soybeans across parts of
Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin according to the USDA
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Minor
improvements were made in northwestern Iowa and southwestern
Minnesota in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought
(D1) as well as Severe Drought (D2) as one-to-two inches of rain
fell during the 7-day period. Temperatures throughout the region
were below normal during the past week.

The Plains: In the northern tier, a cool and wet pattern
persisted in North Dakota and extreme eastern portions of South
Dakota, and Nebraska where one-category improvements were made
in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1)
receiving more than two inches of rain during the past week.
Across the Dakotas, recent rains have continued to help improve
pasture and range conditions. In the southern tier, modest
rainfall amounts were observed over eastern and north-central
Kansas leading to continued improvements in areas of Abnormally
Dry (D0), Moderate Dry (D1), and Severe Dry (D2). According to
the USDA NASS Kansas Crop Progress and Conditions Report, wet
field conditions continued to cause some planting delays of
soybeans and sorghum, especially in low-lying areas. Conversely,
western Kansas has not benefitted from the recent storms and
rangeland conditions remain in poor to very poor condition. In
Oklahoma, some locally heavy rainfall (2-3 inches) led to minor
improvements in south-central and north-central regions in areas
of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1). Despite some
locally heavy rainfall in parts of extreme western Oklahoma
during the past week, conditions on the map remained unchanged
as rainfall deficits persisted. During the past week,
temperatures in the northern tier were below-normal while most
of the southern tier was near-normal.

The West: During the past week, the West continued in a hot and
dry pattern. Record-breaking heat was observed late last week
and into the weekend with temperatures ranging from ten to
fifteen degrees above normal in southern Oregon, northern
California, the Great Basin, the Mojave Desert, and Arizona.
Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park reached 126°F on
June 8th, breaking the daily high-temperature record while
additional daily high-temperature records were broken at the
following locations:  Needles, California (107°); Red Bluff,
California (112°F); Sacramento, California (108°F); South Lake
Tahoe, California (85°F); Reno, Nevada (100°F); Elko, Nevada
(97°F); and Ely, Nevada (95°). Some relief from the heat came
late Saturday afternoon and Sunday as a cutoff low, situated off
the southern California coast, strengthened and moved northward
and eastward bringing isolated showers and thunderstorms over
northern California and northwestern Nevada. The storms (and
6,000 lightning strikes over northern California) sparked more
than 50 small fires from Solano to Lassen County according to
CAL FIRE. The overall pattern of hot and dry conditions,
combined with year-to-date below normal precipitation, led to
continued deterioration of pasture and rangeland conditions
across Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico according to
the USDA NASS Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. In New Mexico,
the southwestern part of the state remains notably dry with the
USDA NASS New Mexico Field Office reporting that 100% of range
and pasture are in very poor condition.

On this week’s map, changes were made in Idaho, Oregon, and
Nevada.  In Idaho, below-normal precipitation during the winter
and the likelihood of reduced water deliveries to farmers for
irrigation have led to the expansion of Moderate Drought (D1)
across south-central and central Idaho and the expansion of
Severe Drought (D2) in southwestern Idaho. In southeastern
Oregon, Baker County declared a local drought disaster as
Philips Reservoir dropped to half capacity and its lowest level
since 2004 leading to the expansion of Severe Drought (D2) to
the area. In northern Nevada, a small area of Abnormally Dry
(D0) was degraded to Moderate Drought (D1) as hot and dry
conditions continued to dry soils.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: The Hawaiian Islands remained
status quo for the week with exception of degradation of an area
of Moderate Drought (D1) to Severe Drought (D2) on the southern
tip of the Big Island as low elevation pastures have been drying
out. Alaska and Puerto remained status quo this week.

Looking Ahead: The NWS HPC 5-Day Quantitative Precipitation
Forecast (QPF) calls for moderate to heavy precipitation over
the Midwest and Northeast while modest rainfall is forecasted
across the eastern portions of the Great Plains, Southeast, and
Pacific Northwest. The 6-10 day outlooks call for a high
probability of above-normal precipitation and below-normal
temperatures across New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest,
the northern Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. In
contrast, a high probability of above-normal temperatures and
below-normal precipitation are expected across the Intermountain
West, southern Great Plains, and the South.

Author: David Simeral, Western Regional Climate Center

Dryness Categories

D0 ... Abnormally Dry ... used for areas showing dryness but not
yet in drought, or for areas recovering from drought.

Drought Intensity Categories
 D1 ... Moderate Drought
D2 ... Severe Drought
D3 ... Extreme Drought
D4 ... Exceptional Drought

Drought or Dryness Types
 S ... Short-Term, typically <6 months (e.g. agricultural,
grasslands)
 L ... Long-Term, typically >6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Tanzi in Washington at atanzi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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