Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
Map valid as of 3-28-19 | Data valid as of 3-26-19
Dryness and drought intensified across parts of the South, while the overall trend toward drought recovery continued in the Four Corners region. Elsewhere, dryness concerns increased in the Northwest where drought expanded slightly; rain and snow will be needed soon across the northwestern quarter of the nation to prevent the region from slipping further into drought. Most of the nation from the central and northern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remained free of drought, with severe flooding the primary concern in the nation’s heartland.
South Region: Rain in the north contrasted with intensifying dryness in southern portions of the region. Moderate to heavy showers were noted from northern Texas and western Oklahoma southeastward into the northern and central Delta, resulting in a slight reduction of the northern Texas Abnormal Dryness (D0). Additional reductions to the Southern Plains’ D0 were made based on input from local experts, indicating additional benefits from the previous week’s rainfall. Conversely, increasingly dry conditions in Texas have been noted over the past 60 days from Childress southward toward Laredo and Corpus Christi, with 90-day rainfall tallying a meager 20 percent of normal in the state’s expanded Severe Drought (D2) areas. Farther east, a highly variable signal is evident from Austin eastward; 90-day rainfall has averaged near to above normal in these locales, while 60-day precipitation was below half of normal.
Looking Ahead: An unsettled weather pattern will continue over much of the nation. A pair of Pacific storms are expected to bring much-needed rain and mountain snow to the Northwest and northern Rockies. As the lead system marches east, it will produce rain and snow from the central Plains into the Midwest, though the Upper Midwest will remain dry. Increasingly stormy weather is also in the offing for the East Coast States, with the greatest chances for heavy rain noted along Florida’s eastern coast and from the Carolinas into the Mid-Atlantic region. Mostly dry weather is expected from the lower Four Corners into central Texas, while showers may return to southern Texas. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 2–6 calls for near- to above-normal precipitation across most of nation, save for pockets of dryness in the Southwest and central Gulf Coast region; drier-than-normal conditions are also expected over Alaska. Colder-than-normal weather over northern portions of the Plains and Upper Midwest will contrast with above-normal temperatures in northern- and southern-most portions of the Atlantic Coast States and from the Four Corners into the Northwest and Alaska.