Map released: June 18, 2020 | Data valid: June 16, 2020
This week’s drought summary: Significant rainfall missed most areas of dryness and drought across the contiguous 48 states, with improvements limited to part of the northern Intermountain West, central Kansas, and a few isolated spots in both Oregon and upstate New York. Elsewhere, dry conditions persisted or intensified. In particular, abnormally hot weather, low humidity, and gusty winds have led to rapidly-intensifying dryness across the Plains States. Extreme drought expanded in northern New Mexico, part of central and western Oklahoma, eastern Colorado, and western Kansas while broad areas of abnormal dryness and some moderate drought were introduced farther north.
South: Drought continues to rapidly develop and intensify across most of Texas and Oklahoma, with patchy dryness beginning to develop farther east in western Tennessee and adjacent Mississippi. Central parts of the region, soaked by heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Cristobal last week, remained free of moisture deficits. Only isolated parts of Tennessee saw any significant precipitation this week. Western Texas and eastern New Mexico received less than 0.5 inch the past couple of months, and most of this area recorded under an inch for the past 90 days. Farther east in Central Oklahoma, higher normals allowed rainfall deficits of 2.5 to 4.5 inches accumulate over the past few weeks. As a result, moderate to severe drought expanded in many areas from central Oklahoma to the Texas/New Mexico border as far south as the Big Bend. Precipitation shortfalls are less acute and of shorter duration on the east side of the South Region, but conditions deteriorated enough to introduce D0 there.
Looking ahead: June 18-22 should be a fairly wet week (upwards of 0.5 inch rain) from the south-central Plains northward through Iowa and Minnesota, with the east-central Great Plains and the western Red River Valley of the South expecting over two inches. Farther east, a non-tropical storm is forecast to bring moderate to heavy rain to the Middle Atlantic States. Generally, areas from northern North Carolina through southern Pennsylvania should receive 0.5 to locally 2.0 inches of rain. The northern and western Great Lakes region should anticipate moderate amounts topping out under 1.5 inches. Looking from the Rockies westward, moderate to locally heavy (high-elevation) precipitation is anticipated in central and western Montana, and moderate totals are expected in the northern Great Basin and adjacent areas. Meanwhile, subnormal temperatures are forecast from the central Rockies and Plains northward to the Canadian border, with daily highs forecast to average around 6 degrees F below normal there. In contrast, higher than normal temperatures are expected in parts of Nevada and California, as well as the Northeast. Readings should be 6 to 12 degrees F above normal in upstate New York and New England.
The CPC 6-10 day outlook (June 23-27) shows a tilt of the odds toward above-normal precipitation from the central and southern Plains eastward to the Atlantic Coast, save Florida. Areas in and around the northern Great Basin should also expect above-normal precipitation. In contrast, subnormal totals are favored in the Big Bend, the central and southern Rockies, and the northern tier of states from the Great Plains to the West Coast. Increased chances of above normal temperatures cover the Eastern Seaboard, and also the Rockies westward to the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, odds favor subnormal temperatures from the Plains to the Appalachians.