U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Jan. 8 (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 minor modifications as the
conterminous U.S. experienced relatively tranquil weather
conditions. Some modest amounts of precipitation fell over the
central Gulf Coast states, California, and the Pacific Northwest
while some lesser amounts were observed over portions of the
Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Overall, temperatures across
much of the conterminous U.S. were well below normal except for
portions of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northern Great Plains,
and the Upper Great Lakes region where temperatures were above
average. The northern Great Basin, Intermountain West, and
central Rocky Mountains experienced well-below-normal
temperatures during the last week, and numerous records were
broken. In Alaska, temperatures were well above normal during
the last week while the Hawaiian Islands experienced generally
cooler-than-normal conditions.

The Northeast: The region received minor amounts of
precipitation during the past week, and conditions on the map
remained unchanged. Temperatures throughout the region were
slightly below normal during the past seven-day period.

Mid-Atlantic: Overall, the Mid-Atlantic was generally dry during
the last week, except for some light shower activity over
southeastern Virginia. Average temperatures in the region were
generally near normal. No changes were made on this week’s map
for the region.

The Southeast: The Southeast remained relatively dry during the
past week, with the exception of some scattered showers over
portions of northern Alabama, northern Georgia, and northwestern
South Carolina. Recent rainfall accumulations led to one
category improvements in northwestern Georgia. Continued short-
term dryness and increased wildfire risk led to the expansion
and introduction of Abnormally Dry (D0) areas in south Florida.
Temperatures in the region during the past week were well above
normal over most of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The South: Some scattered shower activity over the region helped
to alleviate some Abnormally Dry (D0) areas in southwestern
Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast of Texas, as well as areas of
Extreme Drought (D3) and Exceptional Drought (D4) in southern
Texas. Some slight deterioration of conditions related to short-
term precipitation deficits led to minor expansion of Severe
Drought (D2) and Extreme Drought (D3) in the Hill Country of
Texas while recent snow accumulations and cool temperatures in
the Panhandle led to minor improvements from Exceptional Drought
(D4) to Extreme Drought (D3) and a new area of Severe Drought
(D2).  Throughout this region, temperatures were below normal
during the past week.

Midwest: Overall, the Midwest was generally dry during the past
week with the exception of some scattered snow showers over
central Illinois and mixed rain/snow over Missouri. Some minor
modifications were made to the map joining areas of Abnormally
Dry (D0) in southeastern Indiana and southwestern Ohio to
reflect lingering dryness in the region. Temperatures in the
southern tier were below normal, while the Northern Great Lakes
Region experienced warmer-than-normal conditions.

The Plains: The region continued to experience an overall dry
pattern during the past seven-day period with the exception of
some light rainfall in portions of Oklahoma and scattered snow
showers over Kansas. Shorter-term (30-day) snowfall
accumulations in the northern portion of North Dakota led to
improvements from Moderate Drought (D1) to Abnormally Dry (D0)
as well as a return to normal conditions in the northwestern
part of the state. In the Northern Plains, temperatures were
above average for the period while the Central and Southern
Plains experienced near-normal to below-normal conditions.

The West: During the last seven-day period, the West was
generally dry with only some light rainfall over portions of
central California. Current snowpack conditions show significant
deficits in snow water content over the mountains of Colorado,
New Mexico, northeastern Nevada, eastern Oregon, eastern
Wyoming, and sections of northern Montana. Conversely, notable
surpluses exist over the Cascades, Sierras, Sawtooths, Uintas,
and the mountains of Arizona. Short-term precipitation
accumulations since October 1 led to categorical improvements in
areas of the Great Basin and eastern Sierra Nevada along the
California-Nevada border. The two areas of Extreme Drought (D3)
in the Great Basin saw reductions to Severe Drought (D2) due to
the net effect of short-term precipitation accumulations.
Temperatures over the West have been well below normal with the
exception of large portions of Montana and northwestern Wyoming.
During the past week, the Great Basin, Intermountain West,
southern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, and western Colorado
experienced well-below-normal temperatures with minimums ranging
from -10° F to -30° F.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico: The Hawaiian Islands saw some
slight improvements as a result of wet trade winds delivering
moisture to the windward areas, while some lesser accumulations
also carried over to the leeward sides of the smaller islands.
The islands of Maui and Molokai saw slight expansion of Extreme
Drought (D3) in response to deteriorating pasture conditions.

Looking Ahead: For the remainder of the week, the conterminous
U.S. will shift toward a more active weather pattern. The NWS
HPC 5-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for
heavy precipitation to fall over eastern Texas as well as
portions of the Lower Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. The Pacific
Northwest will remain in an active pattern this week as will the
Northern Rockies. Temperatures are forecasted to be above
average east of the Rockies while most of the West will continue
to remain well below normal. The 6-10 day outlooks call for a
high probability of below-normal precipitation west of the
Rockies and an elevated probability of above-normal
precipitation in the eastern half of the conterminous U.S. In
Alaska, the 6-10 day forecasts call for an elevated probability
of above-normal precipitation and temperatures.
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