This Week’s Drought Summary: A stationary front was a focus for frequent showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall from eastern South Carolina south to the Big Bend of Florida from June 11 to 14. The heavier rainfall resulted in short-term rainfall surpluses and drought elimination to parts of the Coastal Plain of Georgia and South Carolina. Another cold front progressed slowly south and east across the Great Plains, Corn Belt, and Mississippi Valley from June 14 to 16 before becoming stationary. Locally heavy rain (more than 2 inches) and hundreds of severe weather reports were common across the central and southern Great Plains, middle to upper Mississippi Valley, and Ohio Valley during mid-June. Excessively wet conditions continue to slow the emergence of corn and soybeans across the Corn Belt. Meanwhile, drought intensified across northern North Dakota due to a lack of rainfall since April. A strong ridge of high pressure resulted in dry weather and record high temperatures (June 11 and 12) across the Pacific Northwest where drought is also intensifying. Suppressed rainfall continues to affect parts of Puerto Rico.
South: 7-day rainfall anomalies (June 11 to 17) varied across the southern Great Plains, which is typical for this time of year. The heaviest rainfall (2 to 4 inches, locally more) was observed across scattered areas of Oklahoma, eastern Texas, and the Texas Gulf Coast. The Vegetation Drought Response Index (VegDRI) continues to reflect moist conditions throughout much of this region. Soil moisture remains above the 99th percentile across most of Oklahoma and northern Texas. According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, the northeast quarter of Oklahoma has received 12 to 18 inches of rainfall during the past 30 days. A slight expansion of abnormal dryness (D0) and moderate drought (D1) was necessary across Deep South Texas due to increasing short-term rainfall deficits and periods of above normal temperatures during the past month.
Looking Ahead: During the next 5 days (June 20-24, 2019), a couple of cold fronts are forecast to progress east across the northern half of the central and eastern U.S. On June 20, locally heavy rain (more than 1 inch) is expected to accompany a cold front as it crosses the Northeast and northern mid-Atlantic. A second frontal system is likely to trigger severe thunderstorms with heavy rainfall across the central U.S. The NWS WPC 5-day quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) calls for widespread amounts of 1 to 3 inches, locally more, from eastern portions of the central and southern Great Plains east to the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Dry weather is likely to persist across southern Texas and the Pacific Northwest. The most anomalous warmth is expected across the Gulf Coast States. Overall suppressed rainfall is expected to continue for Puerto Rico through late June.
The CPC 6-10 day outlook (June 25-29, 2019) favors above-normal temperatures across much of the central and eastern U.S. with below-normal temperatures lingering over the western U.S. Enhanced odds for above-normal precipitation are forecast for much of the eastern U.S., Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, middle to lower Mississippi Valley, and southern Great Plains. A slight tilt in the odds for below-normal precipitation is forecast for southern areas of Florida and Texas, the High Plains, and central to southern Rockies. A relatively warm and dry pattern is most likely to persist across Alaska.