Source: US Drought Monitor
Maps released 7-18-19 | Data valid 7-16-19
This Week’s Drought Summary: Hurricane Barry made landfall in southern Louisiana on July 13, delivering locally heavy showers and a modest storm surge but largely sparing crops and communities in the path of the poorly organized storm. Once inland, Barry drifted northward and was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm and—by July 14—a tropical depression. Outside of Barry’s sphere of influence, locally heavy showers dotted the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, sparking local flooding. Locally heavy rain also soaked portions of the North, with some of the highest totals reported across the northern half of the Plains and the upper Midwest. Many other areas of the country, including a large expanse of the West and parts of the southern Plains and the Midwest, experienced warm, dry weather. In fact, near- or above-normal temperatures dominated the country, as mid-summer heat began to build. Areas affected by Barry’s remnants, including the mid-South, remained somewhat cooler due to cloudy, showery weather. In part due to mid-July heat, short-term dryness was of great concern across the lower Midwest, where compaction, crusting, and dryness was reported in previously saturated topsoils.
South: Hurricane Barry erased dryness (D0) from Louisiana and nearly so from Mississippi. There was also a reduction in D0 coverage in Tennessee. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather covered much of southern Texas, leading to an expansion of dryness (D0) and moderate to severe drought (D1 to D2). July 11 featured a daily-record high in Brownsville, Texas (100°F). Elsewhere in Texas, Corpus Christi posted three consecutive daily-record highs (101, 101, and 103°F) from July 11-13. Brownsville noted another daily-record high, 102°F, on July 13.
Looking Ahead: Heat and high humidity levels will dominate the central and eastern U.S. through week’s end, except on the northern Plains. By early next week, however, markedly cooler, drier air will arrive across the Plains and Midwest. Meanwhile, the post-tropical remnants of Hurricane Barry will spark showers in the East through Thursday, while scattered showers and thunderstorms will affect parts of the nation’s northern tier. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches in the upper Midwest and locally 1 to 3 inches east of the Mississippi River. In contrast, dry weather will prevail in the south-central U.S. and from California to the Intermountain West.
The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 23 – 27 calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures from the central and southern Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard, excluding southern Florida, while hotter-than-normal conditions will dominate the West and the northern High Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in the Midwest and along the northern Pacific Coast should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather along the Atlantic Coast, in the Deep South, and across the Intermountain West.