This Week’s Drought Summary
Broad drought improvements continued across parts of the South for the second week in a row as the ongoing effects of record-setting rainfall over the last two weeks became apparent. The North American Monsoon also continued to provide much-needed rainfall in the Southwest, leading to additional improvements across much of the region. Drought expanded in the Northwest as warm, dry conditions continued across the region, while the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast saw a mix of improvements and degradations due to locally heavy rain.
Rainfall totals over the past two weeks once again led to broad 1- and 2-category improvements across large parts of the South. For the second week in a row, all states in the region showed improvements as the effect of the rainfall became apparent in drought indicators such as soil moisture, streamflow and vegetation. Rainfall records show that the previous two weeks ranked in the top 10 wettest for this time of year in many locations in the region. Some of these records go back over 100 years. Drought remains in areas that missed out on the recent heavy rains and those in which rainfall deficits still exist at 90-plus days so that deeper soil moisture, shallow groundwater and streamflow indicators have yet to recover. Extreme (D3) drought expanded in northern Oklahoma in the areas that missed out on the heavy rain. Rainfall deficits of nearly 6 inches have continued to dry out soils and stress vegetation.