Slight Drought Expands in Upper Midwest

Slight Drought Expands in Upper Midwest

U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought expanding in upper Midwest, far South

Rain and snowfall visited areas of the East Coast and Great Lakes this U.S. Drought Monitor period, bringing needed precipitation to some areas, including Texas.

A low-pressure system in the East Coast brought up to 2.4 inches of precipitation to the area in the form of rain and snow. A small section of abnormal dryness was trimmed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said this week's drought map author Matthew Rosencrans of NOAA.

Related: USDA Crop Progress: U.S. Corn Harvest Jumps to 65%

Soil moisture maps presented by the National Weather Service Raleigh office also indicated dryness reductions in the top layers of the soil column.

Harvest continues at a rapid pace in key corn and soybean areas as weather has been favorable, though some fields have been slow to dry out from earlier precipitation.

Abnormal dryness and moderate drought were expanded across portions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Dryness increased markedly across western Alabama, southern and eastern Mississippi, and southeastern Louisiana during the past 60 days, with some indicators pointing to extreme drought conditions across east-central Mississippi, though other indicators found the drought is not as intense.

No changes were made to the drought conditions in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, as precipitation during the past 30 days was at least 50% of normal. At longer time periods, precipitation is mostly above average.

Across the Midwest and Southern and Central Plains, up to 2 inches of rain fell from Texas to Missouri. Some reductions in drought intensity and coverage were made over the Texas Panhandle, partly due to recent rains and partly due to a reassessment of conditions in conjunction with the Texas State Climatologist. Improvements were also made to southwest Missouri.

Across central and eastern Oklahoma, more than 2 inches of rain in some areas prompted some small areas drought reduction.

Dryness continued across Arkansas and northwest Louisiana, so D0 was expanded there.

Some reduction in drought coverage was made across eastern New Mexico while drought conditions in Colorado showed little signs of change during the past week.

Moderate to heavy rains fell across northern California to western Washington. Weekly rainfall totals for northern California top out at 2.3 inches, while rains further north, across the Olympic Peninsula and Cascades, exceed 9 inches.

Feedback from California included some reports detailing improvements to stream flows while other reports only greening of small plants and grasses, not indicating deeper soil moisture recharge. The rains had an abrupt cutoff across Mendocino County, however.

Across Washington and Northern Idaho, reductions in drought conditions were made. Almost a 1-category improvement was made across the Cascades.

No changes were made to the drought depiction across Nevada, Utah, or Arizona. The Nevada State Climatologist requested no changes, pending evaluation of impacts of recent light rains of less than 1 inch.

Slight Drought Expands in Upper Midwest

Source: Matthew Rosencrans/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.

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