Update: See the April 23, 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor update
Rain was abundant across the Eastern U.S. this Drought Monitor period, resulting in several spotty improvements in the Northern Midwest and in the Southeast, though degradations were noted in South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
Rain along the Gulf Coast was particularly heavy as a storm dumped copious amount of rain on southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, this week's drought map author Michael Brewer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
About 58.7% of the contiguous U.S. is in some form of drought or dryness currently, compared to 59.7% last week and 48.5% one year ago. About 3.5% is in the most extreme drought rating, compared to 3.6% last week and 2.8% one year ago.
Receiving a break from the onslaught of cold, wet conditions that have dominated much of the winter and spring, the East and Mid-Atlantic saw slightly drier conditions.
Abnormal Dryness (D0) continues to impact much of the area, Brewer said, and with the exception of minor trimming of D0 in central Pennsylvania, no changes were made to the map depiction this week.
Severe (D2) and Moderate Drought (D1) and D0 improved across the Panhandle of Florida and southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, Brewer said. Conversely, southern Florida experienced a small increase in D1 conditions.
Continue reading after the jump >>
Significant amounts of rain fell from Iowa across Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and into Michigan. The impacted areas saw improvement in D1 and D0 in the path of the storm. Other areas remained unchanged.
The Southern Plains experienced another week with relatively wet conditions, Brewer said. There were minor improvements in all drought categories in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southeast Kansas.
The Northern Plains experienced a mixed bag of changes. In western North Dakota, precipitation improved D0 while in South Dakota, D1 expanded northward.
See the latest USDA Crop Progress and Condition report for April 13, 2015.
Most of the West saw little to no precipitation this week. Select areas of the Rockies were experiencing some snowfall as the week ended, the impacts of which will be assessed in the map next week. Likewise, the Pacific Northwest saw some coastal precipitation.
Little change was made to the drought depiction in the West with the exception of degradation in conditions in and around Wyoming, southern Montana, and northeast Utah.
Little precipitation came to California again this week and no changes were made to the state depiction.
Source: Michael Brewer/The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.