This Week’s Drought Summary
Weather and drought conditions varied widely in the contiguous U.S. this week. From the Desert Southwest and southern Colorado eastward into the Texas Panhandle, western Kansas, eastern Colorado, northern Oklahoma, and Arkansas, heavy rainfall fell in some areas, leading to localized improvements in ongoing drought. Drier conditions in the Northeast led to the expansion of moderate and severe drought in the New York City area and in parts of New England. Drier weather also led to expansion of drought conditions in parts of the central Great Plains and Upper Midwest. Similar conditions in Texas led to expansion of drought conditions there, while recent precipitation led to some improvements in southwest Texas. For more local details, please refer to the regional summaries below.
The South region saw highly variable weather this week. This led to a wide range of changes to the ongoing drought areas across the region. Temperatures across most of Texas were above normal for the week, with many readings of 4-8 degrees above normal. Temperatures across the rest of the South were more moderate, generally within 4 degrees of normal on either side. Heavy rainfall occurred from the central and northern Texas Panhandle eastward through the northern half of Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and portions of Tennessee. This led to improvements in the Texas Panhandle, northern Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Conditions also improved a bit in southwest Texas, where recent rainfall began to alleviate short- and long-term precipitation deficits. Meanwhile, short-term drying combined with above-normal temperatures to worsen drought conditions across some other parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Drought impacts across Texas ranged from crop failure to water supply problems, in one case from a well failure.