U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending July 2 (Text)

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

Weather Summary: During the past week, a strong and persistent
area of high pressure dominated the circulation over the western
half of the lower 48 states while extending northward to eastern
Alaska.  That upper-level high pressure area brought much above-
normal temperatures to most of the west and Alaska, with some
areas breaking heat records.  Upper-level low pressure was
entrenched over the eastern third of the lower 48 states,
bringing copious amounts of rain (1.0 - 8.6 inches) to places
east of the Mississippi River.

New England and mid-Atlantic: A deep, upper-level trough brought
persistent rains (0.5 - 8.6 inches) to the Northeast and Mid-
Atlantic.  Those rains prompted the removal of D0 (abnormal
dryness) from southern Maine and central Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the moderate drought (D1) was improved to D0
across northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, as
rains (0.9 - 3.4 inches) fell across that region. Streamflows
across the region are mostly within or above the normal range.

Southeast: Moderate to heavy rains (1.0 - 4.5 inches) fell on
most of the remaining D0 over northern Florida, southern
Alabama, and southern Georgia.  Therefore, the remaining area of
abnormal dryness (D0) was trimmed considerably across Florida
and Georgia, but left nearly intact over Alabama where the rains
were not as heavy (0.5 - 1.5 inches).  Streamflows across
southern Alabama remain below normal in many locations.

The Midwest and Northern Plains:  Some rains (1.0 - 1.8 inches)
fell on the drought area in Minnesota, so some minor adjustments
were made to the drought depiction there, with D1 being trimmed
slightly where the heaviest rains fell.  Further south, rainfall
along the Mississippi Valley kept the dryness contained, though
across portions of South Dakota and Iowa, little rain fell and
temperatures were slightly above normal, so this area needs to
be monitored closely. Streamflows across this region are mostly
near normal, with a few reporting stations still reflecting the
longer term dryness that gripped the Midwest for most of last
year.

The Central and Southern Plains, and Lower Mississippi River
Valley:  Isolated areas of rain fell across eastern Kansas and
Nebraska, prompting only a small trimming of D0 over eastern
Kansas.  Over central Nebraska, where not rain fell, D2 was
expanded over Lincoln County.  North Platte Regional Airport Lee
Bird Field is approaching 3 inches below average for the year
and has also not seen more than 0.50 inch of rain at one time
since May 29.

Farther south and west, some rains fell across eastern New
Mexico and western Texas.  The maximum radar estimated
precipitation (4.0 inches) was significantly greater than what
was reported at individual stations (1.2 inches), so
improvements were not as widespread as when the data sources
exhibit better alignment.  D4 (exceptional drought) was removed
from portions of Harding and San Miguel counties in New Mexico,
with slightly larger areas of extreme drought (D3) reduction
across western Texas and southeast New Mexico (Yoakum County
area).  Across eastern and southern Texas, southern Oklahoma,
southwest Arkansas, and northwestern Louisiana, dry conditions
prompted the expansion and intensification of drought
conditions.  Streamflows across much of the southern Plains are
well below normal, with many stations reporting at or below the
5th percentile.

Southwest and West: Hot and dry weather continued over the
southwest and much of the west, with many locations breaking
daily records for high temperatures.  Little to no rain fell
across much of the region, although some isolated showers did
move across southern Arizona, but the showers were not enough to
alleviate the ongoing drought.  No rain was measured over
northern Arizona, most of Utah, and most of Nevada, so drought
conditions intensified.  Accordingly, D4 (exceptional drought)
was added to Navajo and Apache counties in Arizona, where some
reports indicate that working animals have perished and fights
have broken out due to lack of water.  D3 (extreme drought) was
also expanded across northwestern Arizona and southwestern Utah,
in the area indicated to the driest by CPC Standardized
Precipitation Index (SPI) blend.  Reports from the Natural
Resources Conservation Serve out of Utah indicate that reservoir
levels are dropping, soil moisture is near historic lows, and
streamflows are in the lowest 25 percent, all indicative of
intensifying drought. The CPC SPI and 30 and 60-day percent of
normal precipitation were used to indicate the exceptional
drought area across northwestern Nevada.

Extreme drought (D2) was expanded slightly in western CO.  The
area was extremely dry during June, and wildfire activity and
available fuels are an ongoing issue in the area.  Streamflows
in the region are much below normal, and modeled soil moisture
values indicate D2 conditions.  Despite near-normal rains for a
small portion of southeastern Colorado, no change was made to
the drought depiction as little to no recovery was indicated in
stream flows and the reported impacts (ranchers selling herds
and little to no ground cover for some pastures) align with the
current depiction.

A storm system did bring rains to northern California and parts
of Oregon, prompting the removal of some D0 (abnormal dryness)
from across the Cascades in Oregon.  The rest of the depiction
remained the same as streamflow responses were minimal.  Across
Montana, D3 was expanded over Madison County to reflect the
ongoing dryness.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: Over Hawaii, light rains fell
on some stations, but the rains were not significant enough to
improve conditions on the ground.  Therefore, no changes were
made to the drought monitor over Hawaii.

Continued dry weather across Alaska prompted the expansion of D1
(moderate drought) and D0 (abnormal dryness).  Streamflows
continue to decline due to lack of recent rains.  According to
the USDA Forest Service, there were seven active fires across
Alaska as of July 2, with many fires burning in excess of 10,000
acres.

Widespread rains fell over Puerto Rico with some stations
reporting over 5.0 inches of rain for the week.  No drought or
dryness is currently indicated for Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead:  The next 5 days (July 3-7) favor wet weather
across most of the eastern half of the Nation, with heavy rains
forecast from the Gulf Coast to the Central Appalachians and
portions of the Northeast.  Some rains associated with the
southwest monsoon are also likely during the next 5 days.
Generally, less than 1.0 inches of rain is forecast across the
Great Plains and Pacific Northwest.

For the ensuing 5 days (July 8-12), the odds favor above-median
precipitation over northern Alaska, the southern Rockies,
portions of the Great Plains, and from the central Gulf Coast
across the Tennessee Valley to the Northeast.  Dry conditions
are likely across the Pacific Northwest, the Alaskan Panhandle,
and the immediate southeast coast.  Temperatures are likely to
be above normal west of the continental divide, and across the
northeast, with below-normal temperatures favored over the
center of the lower 48 states.

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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