U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Sept. 18 (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 in drought conditions in portions of the Lower Midwest, Southern Plains, and the South while drought-stricken areas of the Northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest continued in a dry pattern leading to some minor degradation of conditions. Across the West, warm and dry conditions prevailed leading to some minor deterioration of drought conditions in Colorado. The cumulative effect of the monsoon season led to continued improvements throughout portions of the Great Basin and Four Corners region. In the Eastern U.S., overall drought conditions remained unchanged as dry conditions prevailed in most of the region. The Northeast: Drought conditions in the Northeast remained unchanged during this week as a result of prevailing dry conditions. Mid-Atlantic: The Mid-Atlantic region was generally quiet this week with only minor expansion of Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions in northern Virginia and minor improvements in central Maryland from Moderate Drought (D1) to Abnormally Dry (D0). The Southeast: Some locally heavy rainfall during the period helped to improve small sections of Abnormally Dry (D0) in northwestern and central Alabama as well as minor improvements from Exceptional Drought (D4) to Extreme Drought (D3) in northeastern Georgia. Otherwise, the region was largely unchanged. The South and Southern Plains: Persistence of dry conditions in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle led to expansion of Exceptional Drought (D4) in this region. Heavy rainfall in portions of northeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, and southern Texas led to minor improvements across all categories. Locally heavy rainfall across central, southern, and western Arkansas continued to ease drought conditions from Extreme Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2). Midwest: In the northern tier, persistent above-average temperatures combined with below- average precipitation led to the expansion of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) in central and northern portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Recent heavy rainfall events during the past 30 days led to improvements in central and southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and eastern Kentucky. The Central and Northern Plains: The region continued to experience below normal precipitation with the exception of extreme southeastern Kansas. In the Dakotas, short-term rainfall deficits and local agricultural impacts led to the expansion of Moderate Drought (D1) in north-central South Dakota and west-central North Dakota. The West: In the West, warm and dry conditions prevailed across large portions of the region excluding the Southwest and east of the Continental Divide, which experienced cooler than normal temperatures. In the rain-fed coastal mountains of northwestern Oregon, a small area of Abnormally Dry (D0) was added in response to short-term rainfall deficits and low stream flows. Some minor improvements from Severe Drought (D2) to Moderate Drought (D1) in southern and eastern Nevada were made in response to above average precipitation during the past 60 days with areas receiving more than 200% of normal and improving soil moisture conditions. In Arizona, the cumulative effect of the monsoon in northeastern Arizona led to a reduction of Extreme Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2) over the Chuska Mountains of the Navajo Nation. Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: On the Big Island, a small area of Extreme Drought (D3) was added to the southern tip of the island in response to agricultural impacts in the area. In eastern portions of Oahu along the Koolau Range, recent improvements led to the removal of a swath of Abnormally Dry (D0) on the northeastern facing slopes. Looking Ahead: In the short-term (3-5 days), the NWS Hydrological Prediction Center’s forecast calls for relatively dry conditions throughout most of the contiguous U.S. coming into the weekend except for a series of minor, upper-air disturbances that mainly will impact the Midwest and portions of the Northeast. These disturbances in addition to the passing cold front will bring cooler air into the eastern half of the nation, while the West will continue to experience above-normal temperatures and dry conditions. The CPC 6-10 Day Outlook is projecting above-average temperatures across Alaska excluding the Aleutians and Northwest Arctic regions with wetter than normal conditions over interior Alaska. In the contiguous U.S., temperatures across most of the West, except Coastal California, will remain above average. Wetter than normal conditions in the West will be isolated to portions of the southern Great Basin, Four Corners, and southern Rockies while the Great Plains region will continue to remain dry. In the eastern U.S., wetter-than-normal conditions are predicted over the Northeast and Florida.
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