This Week’s Drought Summary
An active weather pattern over much of the Midwest and Southeast brought with it ample rain over many areas, with some places recording more than 5 inches for the week. Dry conditions were noted in the Northeast, West, and southern Plains where flash drought conditions were impacting vast portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and into the lower Mississippi River valley. Monsoonal moisture continued to be spotty over much of Arizona and New Mexico, reaching into portions of west Texas as well as southern Colorado and Utah. Temperatures were near normal to slightly above over most of the U.S., with cooler-than-normal temperatures over portions of the West, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic and above-normal temperatures over most of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southern Missouri.
The region was mainly dry outside of some monsoonal moisture that made it into portions of West Texas and the panhandle. Portions of southwest Mississippi into southern Louisiana also benefited from above-normal precipitation this week. Some of the warmest temperatures in the country were observed in the region this week with many places having multiple days of triple-digit heat. Temperatures were 5-10 degrees above normal over much of the region as flash drought has developed. With the rapidly developing situation, without relief from the heat or precipitation, drought will continue to intensify rapidly. There were many changes to the drought intensity of the region this week, with only areas of west Texas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma showing any improvements. Almost all of eastern Oklahoma, northern Texas, and Arkansas had a full-category degradation this week. Further degradation took place over central and southern Texas as well as portions of northern and western Louisiana. Coleman County, Texas had its driest January-to-June period on record going back to 1895. Other counties that had the driest first six months of the year were Bosque, Hamilton, Coryell, Wilson, Karnes, and Bee counties in Texas and Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana. There has been an uptick in the number of cattle sales taking place as water and feed demands are being impacted by the drought.