Map released March 11, 2021 | Data valid March 9, 2021
This week’s drought summary: During the current period, most of the country was dry. There was some precipitation along the Gulf Coast and into the Southeast, with the greatest amounts over southern Georgia. Some storms impacted the Pacific Northwest as well, with coastal areas recording the most precipitation, especially on the coastal regions of far northwest California, southwest Oregon, and northwest Washington. Some scattered showers were recorded over the central Plains and New England, but generally these were not associated with significant precipitation. Temperatures were warmer than normal over much of the northern Plains and into the central Plains and Midwest with temperatures greater than 15 degrees above normal in the Dakotas. This took care of any remaining snows through the region and started the spring thaw on soils. Cooler than normal temperatures were recorded over much of the East and into the South where temperatures were 3-6 degrees below normal for the week. Cooler than normal conditions dominated much of New England with temperatures 9-12 degrees below normal.
South: Temperatures were mixed in the region. Most of Texas and Oklahoma saw temperatures three to six degrees above normal while most of East Texas, South Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi were three to six degrees below normal. Dry conditions dominated the region with only portions of North Oklahoma seeing any above-normal precipitation. Hay prices remained firm in the region with low hay stocks, due to drought, and producers needing to feed more during the recent cold snap in February. During this period, drought expanded and intensified over most of Texas and western Oklahoma where a mix of both short- and long-term issues are still embedded. A new area of exceptional drought was introduced over South Texas. In Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, abnormally dry conditions were expanded based on the short-term dryness in portions of those states missing out on recent rains. Abnormally dry conditions were also expanded over much of eastern Oklahoma and East Texas as the area continues to dry out.
Looking ahead: Over the next 5-7 days, it is anticipated that precipitation totals will be greatest over the PClains and Midwest, with the most precipitation expected over portions of Kansas and Missouri. An active pattern is anticipated, with the Southwest and California expected to see some good precipitation over the next several days. The Southeast is expected to stay dry again.
The 6-10 day outlooks show the greatest chances of below-normal temperature are for almost all areas west of the Mississippi River, with the highest probabilities over the High Plains. The best chances for above-normal temperatures are along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Upper Midwest, Florida and northern Alaska. A change in patterns may be underway, with the best chances of above-normal precipitation over the Southeast and eastern United States. There is an above-normal chance of below-normal precipitation over the Southwest and Northern Plains.