This Week’s Drought Summary
Warm and dry conditions dominated much of the western half of the United States while some needed rain fell on portions of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and into the Northeast. Some late summer precipitation also fell in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico as well as along the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. As the 2021-22 water year came to a close, the West, northern Plains and upper Midwest had the poorest recorded precipitation while portions of the South and Southeast have recorded 110-150 % of normal precipitation during this time. Over the last week, temperatures were well below normal in the South and Southeast with some areas of Alabama and Mississippi at 4-8 degrees below normal. The warmest temperatures were in the northern Rocky Mountains and into New England where readings were 6-8 degrees above normal.
Temperatures for the week were cooler than normal over most of the region with departures of 2-4 degrees below normal quite common. Portions of west Texas and the panhandles of both Oklahoma and Texas were at to slightly above normal for weekly temperatures. Only a few areas of Arkansas had much measurable precipitation this week, with dryness dominating the region. Winter wheat being planted into dry soils as well as deteriorating grazing lands have many producers concerned. Almost all of Oklahoma had drought conditions worsen this week with degradation being shown on moderate and severe drought conditions as well as abnormally dry regions expanding. These changes bled into northern and central Texas where large areas of abnormally dry conditions were introduced based upon mainly the last 60 to 90 days.