This Week’s Drought Summary
Over the last week, multiple storm systems moved into the Pacific Coast, resulting in mostly beneficial precipitation in western portions of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Some of these areas saw improvements to ongoing drought conditions as a result of these precipitation events. A few other spots in the West, primarily north and east of the Great Basin, saw some precipitation, but conditions in other parts of the West were largely dry. Outside of the Pacific Coast states, only a few changes were made to the Drought Monitor this week in the West. For more detail on these changes, please see the West region paragraph below. Elsewhere in the contiguous United States, widespread rain, amounting to between half an inch and 2 inches, fell in the Southern Great Plains, primarily along and to the east of Interstate 35. As a result, some areas along the Texas/Oklahoma border and parts of south Texas saw improvements to drought conditions. Farther east, heavy rainfall struck parts of Florida and the southeast U.S. coastline, resulting in some improvements to dryness in Florida, Georgia, and southern South Carolina. In drier parts of North Carolina and adjacent South Carolina, drought conditions remained the same or worsened. While not enough to improve ongoing dryness and drought in the Michigan UP, lake effect snow staved off any worsening of drought. Along the Pacific Coast, temperatures were generally within a few degrees of normal this week. Farther east, roughly northwest of a line from the Great Lakes to El Paso, temperatures were well above normal. Parts of the Dakotas saw temperatures 6 to 10 degrees warmer than normal. Southeast of that line, temperatures were mostly cooler than normal, with parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas falling 6 to 10 degrees below normal.
In eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and in far northwest Louisiana and western Arkansas, widespread rain over a half inch fell this week. As a result, many areas from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and eastward along the Red River saw improvements to ongoing drought and dryness. Improvements also occurred in south Texas. In parts of southwest Texas that did not see rain, some worsening of drought conditions occurred, due to increasing precipitation deficits and lessening soil moisture. Conditions also worsened in parts of northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas where short-term precipitation deficits increased. Most of the region saw cooler than normal temperatures this week, with widespread readings between 6 and 10 degrees below normal in east Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The western reaches of the South region saw near- or above-normal temperatures.