Frontal systems brought thunderstorms and some heavy rainfall to parts of the Plains, the Midwest, and the South. While rainfall was enough to reduce or alleviate drought conditions in some places, such as Arkansas, northern Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Michigan, it wasn’t enough in other areas, such as southwestern Missouri and Idaho, as deficits and impacts remain. This past week saw temperatures slightly below average across much of the nation, with areas of eastern Montana and western North Dakota 4-8 degrees F cooler than normal, which helped to slow, but not halt, drought development. Conversely, parts of the Southwest, Texas, and areas along the eastern northern tier of the U.S. were well above their average temperatures. In Texas, notably, the widespread heat exacerbated evolving and ongoing drought.
South Region (Texas and Oklahoma): Oklahoma also saw improvements, including the southwest where exceptional drought (D4) improved to D3 and in the northeast, although the area of severe drought did expand a bit into Washington County. As noted in an impact report from a local producer, “over the last 180 days, which is not only the entire growing season but also is the base for cool and warm season forage, we have been considerably below normal in precipitation. That lack of precipitation has impacted us in several ways including the failing of crops, the decline in hay production by nearly half and the reduction in our normal daily weight gain in our cattle due to the lack and decline of forage.”
In Texas, with the exception of the northern Panhandle, it was hot and dry, with temperatures climbing into the upper 90s and 100s (F) in many places. In southern Texas, McAllen broke temperature records throughout the week, reaching highs of 104 to 106 degrees F each day. This area has received only about 3 percent of its typical rainfall over the past couple of months. The Gulf Coast has had almost no rain since a major rainfall event in mid-June. Overall, abnormal dryness and drought conditions remained steady or degraded across most of the state. Perhaps most notably, D3 pockets expanded in several areas.
Looking Ahead: Over the week beginning Aug. 28, the Midwestern states are expected receive the highest precipitation, including northern Missouri, which as been plagued by extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought conditions. Temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s (F), and even the 100s in places, across most of the central and southern tier of the U.S.
Looking further ahead at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day Outlook (Sept. 2-6), the probability of dry conditions is highest in the Northwest from southern Alaska into Oregon, northern Idaho, and western Montana, while wet conditions are most likely across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. During this period, below-average temperatures may be seen over the much of the forecasted wet areas — upper Northwest into Alaska — while above-average temperatures are forecast for most of the contiguous U.S., especially the eastern half.
Looking two weeks out (Sept. 4-10), the likelihood of above-average temperatures is highest in central to southern California and in the eastern third of the contiguous U.S. The probability of above-average precipitation is highest over a swath of the central U.S. stretching northeast from New Mexico to eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, and western Wisconsin, with the highest probability of dryness now expected across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Read more at https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu.