This Week’s Drought Summary
April began with heavy rains in parts of the Midwest, South, and Southeast leading to large areas of drought improvement in these regions. Meanwhile, drought expanded and intensified in the West with many locations setting records for the driest prior 3-month period (January to March). The High Plains remained largely unchanged this week with small pockets of improvements and degradations.
Like last week, the South saw drought worsen across west and south Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Above-normal temperatures combined with below-normal precipitation and high winds exacerbated conditions. Drought indicators supporting the degradations include increasing precipitation deficits, dry surface and root zone soil moisture and low stream flow. One-category improvements were made to drought conditions across east Texas, southern Arkansas, north and central Louisiana and Mississippi as the effects of the recent wet pattern propagated through indicators such as streamflow, soil moisture, and vegetation. Note that the heavy, solid black line separating the part of the region experience short-term drought was modified to reflect the effects of the recent rain.