Map released April 15, 2021 | Data valid April 13, 2021
This week’s drought summary: Last week’s storm system brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to much of the Central and Eastern U.S., bringing drought condition improvements to parts of the Midwest and Eastern Plains. Meanwhile, warm, dry conditions persisted in the West and New England, resulting in deteriorating conditions. Parts of the Southwest are now experiencing record levels of dryness for the last 12 months. In New England, year-to-date precipitation ranks in the top 10 driest on record.
South: Showers and thunderstorms across the South last week led to slight improvements to D0 (abnormally dry) and/or D1 (moderate drought) in Louisiana and East Texas. While the rain helped some, shortages still exist at 60 to 90 days. Having missed rainfall, conditions continued to deteriorate in South-Central Oklahoma and in North, South and West Texas, where another week of warm, dry weather continued to build long-term deficits and further dried out soils.
Looking ahead: The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center forecast for the next five days (April 15-19) shows slow moving storm systems affecting large parts of the Lower 48. This storm is expected to bring cold temperatures and late season snows across the Northern Plains, Central Rockies and Northern Great Basin. In the Southwest, dry weather combined with gusty winds is expected to persist, leading to an elevated fire risk. In contrast, the Lower Mississippi Valley and eastern Gulf Coast states are expected to see heavy rainfall. Moving into next week, the Climate Prediction Center six-to-10-day outlook (valid April 19-23) favors above normal temperatures across the West, Northeast and Southeast. Below normal temperatures are likely across the Great Plains, Midwest and Mississippi Valley. Below normal precipitation is expected across much of the country except for the Southern High Plains, Florida and New England.