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U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 3 (Text)

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


Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico

A large swath of Alaska, roughly the southeastern quarter and
the Panhandle, has been affected by dryness the past four
months, significant enough to introduce D0 across this large
area. Streamflows, commercial fishing, and hydroelectric power
generation are suffering in some areas. The lack of rain has
meant a lack of lightning-induced wildfires across the state’s
interior, but conditions are favorable for fire development and
quick expansion. One fire that did start, the Funny River fire
on the Kenai Peninsula, has scorched almost 303 square miles and
is the largest wildfire ever recorded on the Peninsula. Over the
last 30 days, precipitation has increased and was near or above
normal in the southern and northwestern Panhandle, on part of
the Kenai Peninsula, and in a swath from central Alaska to the
south-central coast. However, impacts continue to plague the
southern Panhandle, so D0 was maintained.

Some slight adjustments were made to the D0 areas in Hawaii.
Abnormal dryness was removed from west Lanai, where May rains
were well above normal. Conversely, May dryness prompted some D0
expansion in west Maui.

Parts of western and north-central Puerto Rico reported
significant rain last week. At least an inch fell on north-
central and northwestern parts of the island, with totals
reaching 3 to 6 inches in a large part of the northeastern
quarter of the island. These rains brought 30-day totals to over
6 inches, with much of sizeable area in the north-central and
northwest of the island reporting 10 to locally 20 inches of
rain.

As a result, 30-day totals climbed to near or above normal in
the northwestern, the north-central, and some central parts of
the island, whence D0 was removed. However, interior sections of
the southern half of the island remain 2 to 6 inches drier than
normal since early March, and D0 was maintained in these areas.
D0 was expanded slightly eastward from central Puerto Rico into
an area where 4 to 6 inch deficits have accumulated in the last
90 days.
Central and south-central Plains

In the dry swath from South Dakota and Minnesota southward
through Oklahoma, fairly widespread moderate to heavy rain fell
on southeastern, central, and northern sections, Amounts
generally topped 2 inches, with patches of 4 to 7 inch totals
reported in southeast South Dakota and adjacent Minnesota, from
east-central through northeastern Oklahoma and adjacent Kansas,
and on the eastern tier of the Nebraska Peninsula. Spotty
amounts over 2 inches were also reported in the Oklahoma
Panhandle and southwestern Kansas, but otherwise, light
precipitation at best fell from western Kansas and southeastern
Colorado southeastward through roughly the southwestern half of
Oklahoma, including most areas along the Red River.

The broken pattern of precipitation made it difficult to justify
large-scale improvements, but dryness in several areas eased up
one category, specifically most of the areas that received over
4 inches of rain, and parts of the region from southeastern
Nebraska southward into northwestern Kansas.

In contrast, light precipitation of late in central and most of
southern Oklahoma, including less than half of normal for the
last 30 days in central and south-central Oklahoma, has pushed
90-day moisture deficits into the 4 to 8 inch range, prompting a
significant eastward expansion of D1 to D3 conditions, most
notably right along the Red River.

Winter wheat continued to suffer in the region, and prospects
for improvement look bleak. NASS reported 62% of the crop in
Kansas and 78% in Oklahoma was in poor or very poor condition.
Nationally, 44% of the crop in the primary growing areas are in
poor or very poor condition. Both the topsoil and subsoil are
substantially short of moisture in many areas across the central
Plains. Deficient topsoil moisture covers 55% of Nebraska, 60%
of Kansas, and 68% of Oklahoma. Insufficient subsoil moisture is
even more widespread, covering 75%, 75%, and 84% of these
states, respectively.

In parts of the central and south-central Plains, the impact
designation was changed to “L” (primarily long-term) from “SL”
(both long- and short-term). As a basic rule, areas with
surpluses going as far back as 90 days were designated “L.”
South Florida

Moderate to locally heavy rain fell on much of the western half
of the dry region, and more sparsely in the eastern half.
Between 3 and 5 inches doused a few locales in far southern and
southwestern Florida. However, heavy rains were not widespread,
and the D0 and D1 areas are unchanged from last week.
Southern Virginia

D0 was introduced where rainfall was 1 to 3 inches below normal
for the past 30 days, and slightly below normal for the last 3
months.
Texas and adjacent southern Plains

It was a wet week across eastern Texas and the northeastern half
of the Texas Gulf Coast and adjacent Louisiana. Rainfall totals
exceeded 2 inches throughout this region, and were much greater
in some areas. Totals of 4 to locally over 8 inches were
measured in a large part of southwestern Louisiana away from the
immediate coast, and amounts of 3 to 7 inches, with isolated
higher amounts, were common along the immediate Texas Gulf
Coast. The Drought Monitor classification was improved in most
areas receiving over 3 inches of rain, with small areas of 2-
category improvement introduced where the heaviest rains fell in
southwestern Louisiana.

In stark contrast, most of the central and western two-thirds of
Texas was dry, with only scattered reports of a few tenths of an
inch of rain at best. However, significant rainfall deficits on
the 90-day time scale are limited to parts of western and
northern Texas due to the heavy rain that fell on a large part
of the interior last week. Fairly broad swaths of Texas were
reclassified as “L” rather than “SL” as a result.

There were some new assessment tools available for Texas this
week, and based on a substantial amount of added information,
almost the entire state was redrawn, though Drought Monitor
change was limited to 1 category in most of the state.
Exceptions included some of the wet areas in the east, and a re-
evaluated area in west-central Texas which has received
significantly more relief than has been previously indicated.

Despite recent rains in some areas, crops continue to struggle
and soil moisture shortages cover a large proportion of the
state, subsoil moisture more so than topsoil. Last week, 64% of
Texas winter wheat was in poor or very poor conditions, as were
33% of Texas oats. Deficient topsoil covers more than half the
state (53%), and short subsoil moisture is even more widespread
(62%).
The Midwest

In the area from central Missouri northward across north-central
and northeast Missouri, southeast Iowa, and part of northwestern
Illinois, light to locally moderate rain was the rule, most
locations recorded 0.25 to slightly over 1.0 inch, with isolated
totals up to 2 inches reported in southern and eastern Iowa. On
the other hand, little or none fell on a small swath from west-
central Illinois westward into extreme southeast Iowa just north
of Missouri, and in a larger area through much of central and
interior southeast Missouri.

In most areas, the Drought Monitor assessment was unchanged, but
there were spots of deterioration. A small area of D1 was
brought into northeast Missouri where less than half of normal
rainfall was recorded for the past 30 days, and 90-day deficits
had climbed into the 4 to 7 inch range. Elsewhere there was a
narrow swath of D0 expansion in southeast Missouri, some D0 and
D1 expansion in a small part of northwest Illinois and adjacent
Iowa, and some small areas of D1 retraction with the heaviest
rains in south-central Iowa.

Large portions of both Missouri and Iowa currently report short
or very short subsoil moisture (44% and 31% of those states,
respectively) while deficient topsoil moisture is not as
widespread (30% and 16%), according to the National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS).
The New Mexico Rockies, Intermountain West, and West Coast

In the dry areas from the eastern Rockies westward to the
Pacific Ocean, measurable rain was limited to parts of the
southeastern Rockies, western Oregon, and western and northern
Washington. However, normal precipitation is relatively low in
most of this region, thus deficits grow slowly, and drought
intensifies in like fashion. The dry week kept short-term
precipitation amounts low through most of the region (though not
markedly below normal in many areas), with 30-day totals under
0.25 inch reported in much of central and east Washington and
Oregon, and from southern Idaho and the Oregon/California border
southeastward through the desert Southwest, the lower elevations
of Utah, Arizona, and the western half of New Mexico.

Light precipitation and low normals mean little change moisture
shortages and , analogously, in the Drought Monitor. D0 was
pulled away from part of central Colorado where 1.5 to 3.5
inches of rain fell in the last 30 days, and there was D1
elimination and some D0 reduction in northwestern most Oregon
and adjacent Washington.
The Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians

Moderate rains in northwest Mississippi (1.5 to 3.5 inches)
ended the region’s abnormal dryness, though 90-day totals
remained 2 to 3 inches below normal in part of the region. In
the remainder of the area, from west Tennessee and north
Mississippi eastward through the southern and central
Appalachians, only isolated sites reported more than 2 inches of
rain, and most locales recorded only a few tenths of an inch.

This prompted significant D0 expansion in western and northern
Tennessee and adjacent Kentucky, and in parts of northeast
Alabama. Sharp short-term deficits (generally less than half of
normal for the past month) prompted expansion into these areas.
Near where Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee meet, the D1 area
was reconfigured slightly to cover areas reporting 5 to 8 inches
less rainfall than normal for the past 90 days. Deficits date
back as far as 6 months from south-central Tennessee and
northern Alabama southwestward into northeast Mississippi, where
totals have been 2 to 6 inches below normal (slightly more in
the D1 area).
Looking Ahead

Moderate to very heavy rain is expected across large parts of
the dry areas in the central and south-central Plains, the
Tennessee Valley, and the southern Appalachians during June 5 -
9, 2014. Generally 1.5 to 3.5 inches are forecast across the
entire dry area from north Mississippi and west Tennessee
eastward through the southern Appalachians. Farther west,
precipitation may be heavier and even more widespread. Amounts
near or over 2 inches are anticipated from western Nebraska,
Kansas, southern Iowa, Missouri, and western Illinois southward
through the northern half of Arkansas, almost all of Oklahoma,
and the north-central and eastern Panhandle portions of Texas.
The heaviest amounts, ranging from 3.0 to 5.5 inches, are
expected in the southwestern half of Missouri, central and
eastern Kansas, central and northeastern Oklahoma, and adjacent
Arkansas. Elsewhere, the forecast is for 0.5 to 1.5 inch of rain
in south Florida and south-central Virginia, plus most of the
High Plains, northern Great Plains, upper Midwest, southern
Arkansas, central and northeast Texas, and the west half of the
Texas Panhandle. South of this area, anywhere from a few
hundredths of an inch to near 0.5 inch is forecast in west-
central, southern, and eastern Texas as well as Louisiana and
southern Mississippi, with amounts expected to decrease going
southward to the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico. In sharp contrast,
areas from the eastern Rockies westward to the Pacific Ocean are
likely to get no measurable rainfall.

The ensuing 5 days (June 10 - 14, 2014) features enhanced
chances for above-normal rainfall across the dry area in the
southern Appalachians, Tennessee Valley, and upper Southeast
once again. The odds also favor surplus rainfall in the lower
Mississippi Valley, east Texas, and from eastern Nebraska and
most of Iowa northward through the dry areas in the northern
Plains. On the other hand, most of the High Plains, the
southwestern Great Plains, the eastern tier of the Rockies,
central and northern Utah, the northern half of the
Intermountain West, central and northern California, and all but
the northernmost tier of the Pacific Northwest seem more likely
to end up drier than normal for the period. Across the D0 area
in Alaska, the odds don’t favor unusually wet or dry weather
along the south-central coast, but odds lean toward above-normal
precipitation in the rest of that region.

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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