This week’s drought summary
While much of the contiguous U.S. is still experiencing drought or abnormal dryness, several storm systems dropped large amounts of precipitation over the past week in the form of rain or snow, especially in California and from eastern Oklahoma through Tennessee. Since some of this precipitation fell near the Tuesday morning data cutoff, more analysis of the early week precipitation will be performed next week, when more data is available to analyze changes to ongoing drought conditions. In parts of the Great Lakes, Southeast, and northwest Kansas that missed out on recent precipitation, drought or abnormal dryness developed or worsened.
In northern parts of the region, from central and eastern Oklahoma eastward through Tennessee, widespread moderate to heavy rain fell, leading to widespread improvements to ongoing drought and abnormal dryness. In central Oklahoma and north Texas, given that some of this rain fell near the data cutoff, more changes may be made next week as more data becomes available. Wetter recent weather led to improvements in surface conditions and precipitation deficits in central and west-central Texas, leading to some improvements in ongoing drought there. Due to recent heavy rainfall, severe drought areas in southwest Arkansas and near the Louisiana/Mississippi border were removed. A few localized spots in the eastern half of Texas saw conditions worsen after missing out on recent rains. Most of the region saw above-normal temperatures this week, with large portions of central and eastern Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi seeing readings at least 15 degrees above normal.