Map released Jan. 21, 2021 | Data valid Jan. 19, 2021
This week’s drought Summary: In contrast to the prior week, most of the country had a relatively dry week, with the significant exception of the Pacific Northwest and northern Intermountain West. Amounts more than 1.5 inches were common, with parts of the Cascades and the coastline recording four to as much as eight inches of precipitation. Elsewhere, most of New England had moderate precipitation, with more than 1.5 inches falling on southern Maine and adjacent New Hampshire. Areas from the upper Midwest eastward through the Great Lakes Region and lower Northeast recorded 0.25 to locally one inch, but the entire remainder of the nation received little or none. But given the time of year, the dry week did not lead to widespread deterioration. Most areas did not change, and significant improvement was limited to the Pacific Northwest.
South: Little or no precipitation fell region-wide, leading to a few areas of deterioration in southern and western Texas. D2 to D4 conditions have become entrenched. Meanwhile, the dry weather led to the introduction of abnormal dryness through much of Tennessee and large sections of Mississippi. Smaller areas developed in Arkansas and Louisiana. Since mid-October 2020, between 4 and 8 inches less precipitation than normal in a swath from northeastern Louisiana through northwestern Mississippi and western Tennessee.
Looking Ahead: The most significant weather for the next five days (Jan. 21-26, 2021) will be widespread heavy precipitation across the Southeast. Between 1.5 and four inches are forecast from East Texas through southern Alabama and northern Georgia. Light to moderate amounts should dampen the rest of the Southeast. Farther west, from the Central and Southern Rockies to the California Coast, significant precipitation will fall on the higher elevations. Most of the mountains are expecting 1 to 3 inches. The rest of the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest are expecting 0.5 to 2.5 inches. Elsewhere, light to moderate precipitation of up to 0.5 inch is forecast for the upper Midwest, and little none is expected over the Northeast, High Plains, and the remainder of the Midwest and Great Pains.
The 6-10 day CPC extended range outlook (Jan. 27-31, 2021) favors surplus precipitation from the Rockies to the West Coast, most of the Midwest, and part of the interior Southeast. Much of Alaska is also expecting above-normal precipitation. Meanwhile, the odds favor subnormal precipitation across Florida, in the Northeast and Ohio Valley, southern Plains, and East Montana. Meanwhile, cooler than normal weather is anticipated in the Northeast, the middle Atlantic States, and a broad area from the Rockies to the West Coast. In contrast, enhanced chances for above-normal temperatures cover roughly the southeastern quarter of the country.