U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Feb. 12 (Text)

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

This US Drought Monitor week was dominated by two weather
systems.  The first system provided widespread moisture through
the Southeast and mid-Atlantic before dumping large amounts of
snow across New England.  Unofficial totals include 33.5 inches
in Glastonbury, CT, 24.9 inches in Boston, MA, 31.9 inches in
Portland, ME, and 20.5 inches in Providence, RI.  High winds
also accompanied this storm with wind gusts up to 83MPH near the
Atlantic coast in Massachusetts.  In the second storm event of
the week, severe thunderstorms rolled through the South and Gulf
States producing an estimated 19 tornadoes and numerous high
wind and hail events, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

The Southeast: The Southeast has seen rain fairly consistently
throughout this US Drought Monitor week.  Multi-day rains across
Alabama and Georgia have put a significant dent in the drought
conditions there.  In Georgia, Exceptional Drought (D4) was
eradicated and areas of Extreme (D3), Severe (D2), and Moderate
Drought (D1) and Abnormal Dryness (D0) were all reduced there
and in Alabama.  One significant aspect of the storms this week
was severe weather on February 10.  This event brought and
estimated 19 tornadoes to the area as well as a large number of
wind and hail events.

In North Carolina, areas of Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal
Dryness (D0) were reduced due to the precipitation.  Conversely,
South Florida continues to receive below normal precipitation
and saw a small expansion of Moderate Drought (D1).

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: The Northeast was hit by a major
winter storm this week.  As mentioned above, widespread two foot
and greater snowfall was experienced throughout the region.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled and thousands were delayed
due to the snow.  Numerous roads were closed throughout the
area.  Hundreds of thousands of homes lost power during the
storm and one death has been attributed to it.  While snow fell
across the region, it largely missed the areas of Abnormal
Dryness (D0).  These areas remained relatively constant with a
slight repositioning in New York and a minor improvement in New
Hampshire.  Conditions in the Mid-Atlantic remained unchanged.

The South and Southern Plains:  Improvement was made this week
in Extreme Drought (D3) in eastern Oklahoma and Kansas.  There
was also improvement in Severe (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1)
and Abnormal Dryness (D0) across eastern Texas while areas of
southern Texas and the Panhandle saw small expansion of
Exceptional (D4), Extreme (D3), and Severe Drought (D2).

The Central and Northern Plains and Midwest: Conditions
continued to improve in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains.
Widespread snowfall in the eastern Dakotas and across Minnesota
led to improvements in Extreme (D3) and Severe Drought (D2)
conditions in that area. Additionally, southwest Missouri saw
some improvement in Severe Drought (D2) conditions.

The West: Improving snowpack conditions led to improvements in
Extreme (D3) and Severe Drought (D2) conditions in the Four
Corners area.  Improvements were also experienced in Extreme
(D3), Severe (D2), and Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormal
Dryness (D0) from southern Montana, through northwest Wyoming
and southern Idaho, and into southeast Oregon.  In California,
Severe (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1) conditions expanded north
of Los Angeles.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico:  Drought conditions remained
unchanged in these areas this week.

Looking Ahead: During the February 14-18, 2013 time period,
there is a suppressed probability of precipitation across nearly
the entire US, with the exception of isolated locations along
the East Coast focused mainly in northern New England and in
south Florida.  Temperatures are variable throughout this time
period.  Initially, above-normal temperatures are expected from
the Ohio Valley through the Southern Plains and along the West
Coast. These temperature are expected to migrate eastward and by
the end of this period, the above normal temperatures will have
moved from the West Coast, across the Rockies, and into the
Great Plains once again.

For the ensuing 5 days (February 19-23, 2013), the odds favor
below-normal temperatures throughout the entire West as well as
across Alaska.  Above-normal temperatures are favored in the
South and in the lower Mississippi River Valley.  Above normal-
precipitation is likely from roughly the east side of the Rocky
Mountains to the East Coast.  The far Southwest and the West
Coast are likely to see below-normal precipitation.  Alaska is
generally expected to see above normal precipitation with the
exception of the far northwest part of the state and the
Anchorage area.
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