This Week’s Drought Summary
Widespread moderate drought and abnormal dryness continued to form and expand across a large swath of the eastern U.S. this week, with a few areas of severe drought forming or expanding as well. Spotty rain and storms occurred across the East, but in areas that missed out on heavy rainfall, high temperatures, browning lawns, and curling corn signaled that rapid drying was taking place in many areas. An early start to the North American Monsoon, particularly in New Mexico and southern Colorado, led to widespread improvement of extreme and exceptional drought in those states. Extreme drought formed or expanded in parts of the central Great Plains this week, where warm, dry weather continued. Moderate short-term drought also began to expand in parts of New England this week. Short-term moderate and severe drought expanded in coverage in Alaska and Puerto Rico, and drought conditions continued to expand in parts of Hawaii. Finally, despite some improvements to conditions in parts of the West, severe, extreme, and some exceptional drought remains widespread there.
Mainly dry conditions prevailed in the South this week, particularly from central Oklahoma and northeast Texas through Arkansas. Elsewhere, conditions were mostly dry, though some areas of heavier precipitation fell locally. Precipitation deficits improved enough in parts of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle for some limited improvements to long-term drought conditions. Elsewhere, conditions mostly stayed the same or degraded, and abnormal dryness and moderate short-term drought quickly became entrenched in parts of east Texas, northern Louisiana, northern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and Tennessee. Severe and extreme short- and long-term drought continued to plague southern Louisiana and a large portion of Texas this week. In drought areas in Texas, soil moisture deficits and low streamflow remained a major impact this week. There, extreme heat made drought-related problems worse. White-tailed deer are expected to have lower antler quality this fall in Texas due to the conditions. Additionally, crop stress continued and stock tanks lowered.