Map released June 4, 2020 | Data valid June 2, 2020
This week’s drought summary: This week, dry conditions were common across parts of the central and southern Great Plains, as well as parts of the northern Great Plains, particularly in North Dakota. Dry conditions were also common in much of the Intermountain West. However, above-normal rainfall occurred in eastern Washington, as part of an unusual severe thunderstorm event in Washington and Oregon on Saturday. Near or slightly below normal temperatures were found across much of the central and south-central continental United States, while warmer than normal temperatures (with some locations reaching between five and 15 degrees above normal) were common in the western High Plains and the West.
Meanwhile, dry conditions also occurred along the northeastern Atlantic Coast. Above-normal rainfall fell in south Texas, central and south Florida, and parts of South Carolina and North Carolina. Moderate, severe, and extreme drought expanded in parts of the southern and central plains where high evaporative demand and paltry precipitation continued.
Elsewhere, drought conditions also spread or lessened in parts of the West, where recent precipitation or lack thereof either improved conditions or caused conditions to dry out further. Minor changes in moderate drought were also made east of the Great Plains; for more details on these, please see the regional paragraphs.
South: Conditions in the South this week varied widely from east to west, leading to primarily improving or unchanged conditions in the eastern part of the region, and degrading conditions in the west. Like the Southeast, most of the South had temperatures this week between 5 degrees above and below normal; however, notable exceptions on the warm end of this occurred in parts of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Scattered areas of above- and below-normal rainfall dotted the region generally to the east of Interstate 35. Moderate drought slightly increased in coverage in a small area of southern Mississippi, where paltry rainfall occurred this week. Improvement in drought and abnormal dryness areas was common in south Texas and along the Texas Gulf Coast, where rainfall this week was mostly above normal. Areas of moderate and severe long-term drought slightly shifted along the Rio Grande, while otherwise degradation was quite common in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle. Extreme drought developed in the Oklahoma Panhandle, and adjacent areas of the southern and central high plains, where conditions had become extremely dry in the short-term as a result of low precipitation and high evaporative demand. Severe drought was also introduced in a small area northwest of Oklahoma City, where short-term precipitation deficits had worsened.
Looking ahead: As of the afternoon of June 3, the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center is forecasting dry weather to continue over the southern Great Plains and the central and southern high plains from June 4 to the evening of June 8. Heavy precipitation is possible from the central Gulf Coast eastward into the Florida Peninsula. Through the evening of June 10, heavy precipitation is also possible in the Mississippi River Valley, as well as eastern portions of Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Some of the forecast rainfall will likely be dependent on the evolution of Atlantic tropical cyclone Cristobal. Please monitor forecasts from your local National Weather Service office and the NWS Weather Prediction Center for rainfall forecasts and for information on possible hydrological impacts from Cristobal. For the latest information on Cristobal, please refer to information and forecasts from the National Hurricane Center.
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting increased chances for warmer than normal temperatures in California and across southern New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and the southeast Atlantic and Gulf Coasts for June 9-13. Meanwhile, near-normal or below-normal temperatures are forecast over much of the rest of the continental U.S. during this period. Increased chances for above-normal precipitation are forecast in the eastern and central United States as well as in the Pacific Northwest, while increased chances for below-normal precipitation are forecast in the High Plains, Texas, Oklahoma, and the Rocky Mountains.