US Drought Monitor and Summary, April 12, 2019

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Data valid April 9, 2019 | Map released April 11, 2019

After a dry March, a series of storms brought much needed precipitation to the Pacific Northwest, staving off further degradations in Washington and resulting in local flooding and broad drought improvements in Oregon. Elsewhere, the West remained largely status quo with the only degradation in drought conditions occurring in the Big Horn Mountains where snowpack has been well below normal all winter. The South and Southeast saw a mixture of improvements and degradations. Locally heavy rainfall brought improvements to parts of Texas, Louisiana, and the Carolinas while areas such as southeastern Alabama saw an expansion of moderate drought. Much of the remainder of the country remains largely free of drought and abnormal dryness.

South Region: Locally heavy rainfall, 4 to 8 inches, fell over parts of central and east Texas, southern Arkansas, Louisiana, and northern Mississippi. Abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought were improved in central and southern Louisiana, with dryness/drought persisting in areas where long-term precipitation and soil moisture deficits still exist. Likewise, Mississippi saw a reduction in abnormal dryness in the south-central portion of the state. Texas saw a mixture of improvements and degradations. Conditions generally improved in central and south Texas where severe drought was eliminated and moderate drought and abnormal dryness were reduced in response to the recent rainfall and improved soil moisture. Degradations generally occurred in the north Texas, which missed out on the surplus rainfall and where precipitation and soil moisture deficits continue to build.

Looking Ahead: By the time of this map’s release, a powerful storm will be impacting much of the U.S., bringing heavy rain and mountain snow to the West; blizzard conditions, flooding rain, and severe weather to the Plains and Midwest; and showers and thunderstorms to the South. Behind the storm, parts of the Southern High Plains in Texas and New Mexico will experience fire weather conditions as very dry air and high winds affect the region. As the storm progresses eastward, parts of the Northeast are expected to see rainfall by the end of the week. Another system moving towards the West Coast this weekend is expected to bring low elevation rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West over the coming week. If the forecast verifies, next week’s map could see additional improvements to drought areas in the Northwest and South.

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