Following is the text of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor as released by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska:
Weather Summary: Several fronts moved across the central and eastern contiguous U.S. during the past week, bringing generally under an inch of rain to the Great Lakes and the Northeast. Heavy rain (2 inches or greater) fell across much of the Gulf Coast region, western Illinois, parts of the Northern Great Plains, and the higher terrain of the Washington and Oregon Cascades. A very generous monsoonal flow into the Southwest brought light to moderate rain (less than 2 inches) to much of this region, with many reporting stations in Arizona receiving between 2-4 inches of rain during the past 7-days. The Northeast: Continuing dry conditions prompted the introduction of abnormal dryness (D0) across central Maryland, southwestern Connecticut, and Long Island, N.Y., this week. According to AHPS, these areas have significant precipitation deficits at 180-, 90-, 60-, 30-, and 14 days. Streams and rivers are also running low, especially in central Maryland. The Midwest: Most of the Midwest remained dry this past week, though heavy rain (2-4 inches) fell over a relatively localized portion of west-central Illinois. Positive temperature departures of 4-8 degrees F were common throughout the region, with +10 degree F anomalies over portions of Iowa and southern Minnesota. As a result, widespread 1-category downgrades were made to the drought depiction across northern and southwestern Missouri, southern, central and eastern Iowa, parts of northern Illinois, northeastern and central Indiana, and central and southern portions of both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Since July 1st, La Crosse, WI, has received only 2.40 inches of rain, the driest ever July 1st-September 10th period. The previous record was 2.52 inches, set back in 1948. The Lower Mississippi Valley: Lack of rain during the past 7- days, temperatures 2-6 degrees above normal, and stream flow values in the lowest quartile of their historical distributions prompted 1-category degradations to the depiction across northern and western Louisiana, central and southern Arkansas, and northern and central Mississippi. Central and Northern Great Plains: Scattered areas of light rain (0.5-inch or less) were observed over Nebraska this past week, with little if any rain reported over Kansas. One- category downgrades were warranted across southeastern Nebraska, with a 1-category improvement made over extreme northeastern parts of the state. These alterations were largely based on 30-day and 60-day SPI values. In Kansas, the area of abnormal dryness (D0) in the northeast was expanded, and D0 conditions were added to southeast parts of the state. No changes were made to the Northern Plains depiction this week, though widespread moderate to heavy rain (0.5-4.5 inches) occurred over North Dakota and adjacent portions of South Dakota. Southern Great Plains: Continuing dryness over north-central and northeastern Texas warranted a number of 1-category degradations. In contrast, recent heavy but spotty rains resulted in small areas of improvement across deep southern Texas. No modifications were made to the depiction in west Texas, as dry weather has followed a reasonably wet summer in the region. In Oklahoma, 1-category downgrades were made across a significant portion of the state, with remaining drought-free areas in central and eastern Oklahoma deteriorating to abnormal dryness (D0). In Jackson County (southwest part of state), Lake Altus-Lugert dropped to a historic low level of 12.6 percent of capacity. The Southwest: The seasonal monsoon was very active during the past 7-days. Widespread 2-4 inch rains were reported across the region, especially in Arizona. One-category upgrades were rendered to the Arizona depiction where approximately 2 inches or more of rain fell, especially in the more centrally located counties of Coconino, Yavapai, Maricopa and Gila. A more detailed and thorough reassessment of this region will be performed next week. By then, we should have a better handle on the extent of the impacts of this monsoonal rainfall. Beneficial moisture also worked its way into western and north- central Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming, allowing for 1- category improvements. The Northwest: Heavy precipitation (2 inches or greater) fell across western portions of both Washington and Oregon during the past week, in advance of an upper-level trough. Although beneficial for areas currently experiencing dryness (Oregon), the short-term gains have not offset long-term precipitation deficits, so no changes were made in this area. Hawaii and Alaska: A 1-categorydowngrade was warranted forwestern and southeastern sides ofthe Big Island of Hawaii, due to continuing dryness. On the west side, it was reported that livestock and ornamental producers were having to haul water to sustain operations, which is very expensive and significantly reduces profits. On the southeast side of the Island, there were reports of crop stress. On the west side of Lanai, D1 conditions improved to D0. No changes were made in Alaska this week. However, the South Coast has seen heavy precipitation again this week, so it would not be unreasonable to see the removal of D0 in this region next week. Looking Ahead: During September 12-16, heavy rainfall (2-4 inches) is anticipated over New Mexico, Colorado, western Kansas, and far southern Texas. Generally light rain (0.5-inch or less) is expected across the Midwest, with high temperatures near- to slightly below normal. For the ensuing 5 days (September 17-21, 2013), odds for above normal precipitation are greatest across the central third of the contiguous U.S., the Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, and northern Alaska, with maximum probabilities near 60-percent over southern Texas . Odds for below normal precipitation are greatest over the Northeast, mid-Atlantic region, upper Ohio Valley, and southern third of Alaska.
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