This Week’s Drought Summary
Most of the eastern third of the U.S. recorded precipitation during the last week, with only a few pockets that missed out. Portions of the Midwest and into the Southeast had some amounts over 3 inches for the week and even widespread 5+ inch amounts in the coastal areas of Florida, and some rain at the end of the period allowed for much of New England to stay status quo for the week and even see a few improvements. The areas with the most rain also had the coolest temperatures, with much of the Midwest and Southeast cooler than normal for the week with departures of 2-4 degrees below normal. Warmer-than-normal temperatures dominated the western half of the country with areas from Montana to Texas recording temperatures that were 6-8 degrees above normal. The coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest were cooler than normal while the Great Basin was warmer than normal with departures of 6-8 degrees above normal. With the dryness and heat, the flash drought that has been developing in the central to southern Plains developed even more this week with the wet conditions of May and June quickly being forgotten.
As with areas of the Central Plains, the South had widespread hot and dry conditions for the week. Areas of Northeast Arkansas, Western Louisiana and Northern Mississippi had the most rain, with pockets of rain throughout Central and Southern Texas. Temperatures were warmer than normal with departures of 4-6 degrees above normal over most of Northern Texas and Oklahoma. As both long-term and short-term dryness have impacted this area, extreme and exceptional drought expanded over Oklahoma and Texas while flash drought development has impacted much of Eastern Oklahoma into Arkansas. Widespread degradation took place this week with a full category degradation over much of Oklahoma, Arkansas and into Northern Texas. Further degradation took place over portions of East Texas with just small areas of improvement over far West Texas, the Western Panhandle and into Southwest Texas.