U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending April 4 (Text)

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

The Northeast: Light precipitation, on the order of a few tenths
of an inch, fell on most locations from Pennsylvania and New
Jersey northeastward to the Canadian border, with totals
approaching an inch in a few locales. Nonetheless, parts of the
lower Northeast have received 2 to 4 inches less precipitation
than normal since the beginning of the year, so abnormal dryness
was expanded into these regions. Similar deficits have been
recorded in some areas farther north in New England, but with
snowpack still melting and streamflows remaining fairly robust,
D0 was not introduced there.

The Southeast: Areas of ongoing dryness from North Carolina
southwestward into central Georgia generally recorded 0.5 to 1.5
inches of rain, with the larger amounts falling across Georgia
and western South Carolina. Drought designations were unchanged
in these areas.

Farther south, only isolated light rain fell on southeastern
Georgia and the Florida Peninsula, leading to some expansion of
moderate drought in east-central and southeastern Florida. Many
locations on the Florida Peninsula are 4 to 8 inches below
normal since the beginning of the year, and a couple of
wildfires have been reported in Collier and Miami-Dade Counties
in southern Florida.

The Upper Midwest: Only a few tenths of an inch of precipitation
were reported in a few areas from Illinois and Iowa northward
through the Great Lakes region and Minnesota, keeping dryness
and drought unchanged from last week. Most of central and
northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, central and northern
Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota received no measurable

The Lower Mississippi Valley/Delta region: No appreciable
precipitation fell on the Louisiana Bayou last week. Over the
last six months, this region has received 8 to locally 16 inches
less precipitation than normal, with deficits of 1 to locally 4
inches accumulating in the last 30 days. As a result, abnormal
dryness was introduced in the region this week.

The Plains: Precipitation totals exceeding one inch were
widespread from northeastern Texas and northwestern Louisiana
northward through southwestern Missouri and part of southeastern
Kansas. Some of the northern reaches of this area, extending as
far south as central Arkansas and east-central Oklahoma,
measured 2 to 4 inches of rain. As a result, drought
classifications improved in several areas which were generally
in the D0 to D2 range last week.

Elsewhere, most locations in the central Plains received
anywhere from a few tenths of an inch to slightly over an inch
while only isolated measurable precipitation was reported in
central and southern Texas, the High Plains, and the northern
Great Plains. Some areas of degradation were introduced in
roughly the southwestern half of Texas and the northwestern
Plains, but conditions remained essentially unchanged in most

The Rockies and Intermountain West: Scattered light
precipitation fell on the northern half of the Plains and
central sections of the Intermountain West, including most of
the Great Basin. Most other locations reported no measurable
precipitation. D0 conditions were extended into southeastern
Washington, where precipitation shortfalls now exceed 2 inches
since the beginning of the year, with deficits reaching up to 6
inches in some of the higher elevations. In other areas, dryness
and drought remained the same as last week.

The West: Generally 1 to 2 inches of precipitation fell from
southwestern Oregon southward through northern California and
the Sierra Nevada, with a few locations reporting larger totals
in the southernmost Cascades. Meanwhile, a few tenths of an inch
were recorded in the Pacific Northwest to the west of the
Cascades and across central and southwestern California.
Southeastern California recorded little or no precipitation.

The precipitation that fell did not change conditions in
existing areas of dryness and drought. Farther north, however,
parts of western Oregon and southwestern Washington eastward to
near the foothills of the Cascades reported their driest start
to a calendar year on record. To wit, abnormal dryness was
expanded into this region despite a fairly robust snowpack in
most of the Cascades to the east of this region.

Hawaii and Alaska: Most locations in southern Kauai reported 1
to locally 5 inches of rain this past week, but only scattered
amounts exceeding 0.5 inch were reported in other parts of the
state currently experiencing dryness and drought. Impact
assessments from recent precipitation indicated that former D1
conditions had improved on part of the southern Big Island, and
areas of improvement were also noted in parts of the western Big
Island where D2 to D3 conditions had prevailed, particularly
along and near the coast. In addition, recent rains appear to
have improved conditions on parts of Lanai.

The few tenths of an inch of precipitation that fell on the
areas of dryness and drought in Alaska were not enough to
significantly change conditions, and this week the assessment
remains the same as last week.

Looking Ahead:  The next 5 days (April 4-8, 2013) are expected
to be dry in the desert Southwest, southern sections of the
Rockies and High Plains, and the central and southern parts of
Texas. Most of the contiguous 48 states, however, should receive
at least light precipitation, with 0.25 to 1.5 inches forecast
for much of the country. Higher totals, generally 1.5 to 3.5
inches, are anticipated in the Pacific Northwest and in the
Southeast from the lower Delmarva Peninsula southwestward
through northern Florida.

For the ensuing 5 days (April 9-13, 2013), the odds favor below-
median precipitation from the Rockies westward to the Pacific
Coast, except along the northern tier of this region. In
contrast, above-median amounts are favored from central Texas,
the east-central Great Plains, and the upper Midwest eastward to
near the Atlantic Coast, excluding the immediate Coastal Plain
and most of Florida.
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