Data valid Oct. 1, 2019 | Maps released Oct. 3, 2019
This week’s drought summary: Warmer than normal temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the country, with many areas having temperatures that were 9 to 15 degrees above normal. Cooler than normal temperatures dominated the western portions of the country into the northern Rocky Mountains. Very dry conditions also dominated regions in the southern Plains, southern Midwest and along most of the east coast. The heat and dryness have continued setting the stage for rapidly developing drought, impacting mainly agricultural sectors right now.
South: Warmer than normal temperatures dominated the region, with most areas 6 to 12 degrees warmer than normal for the week. The warmest temperatures were in central Oklahoma to central Texas. Most areas were precipitation free this week with only portions of the Texas panhandle, northern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma having recorded significant precipitation. Most of the rain in the Texas panhandle was observed right at the data cutoff for this week with some improvements being made to moderate drought, but the area will be looked at again and drought will be assessed next week. Improvements were made in far northeast Texas in response to recent rains. Degradations were widespread in Texas with several new areas of extreme drought in central to eastern portions of the state and more severe drought being represented in the state. Drought was also expanded in portions of southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana and all of Mississippi.
Looking Ahead: Over the next 5-7 days, precipitation is anticipated to continue over the Midwest, Plains and areas of the Southwest, with the greatest amounts anticipated over Kansas and Missouri. Precipitation tries to work farther south, with areas of Kentucky and Tennessee and West Virginia being at the center of the greatest precipitation totals of 1 to 2 inches. Dry conditions are expected over much of the West as well as from the Mid-Atlantic to Florida. Temperatures during this time are forecast to be above normal over the Southeast and Southwest, with departures of 3 to 6 degrees above normal. Cooler than normal conditions are expected over the Plains and Pacific Northwest with temperatures 3 to 6 degrees below normal.
The 6-10 day outlooks show that the Plains, upper Midwest, and Southwest, including western Alaska, has above-normal chances of observing above-normal temperatures, with the greatest chances over the Southwest and Southeast. The Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska have above-normal chances of below-normal temperatures. The areas that have the greatest chances of above-normal precipitation during this time are along the east coast, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. Much of the Plains, Midwest, South, and Rocky Mountains have the greatest chances of below-normal precipitation.