Map released Nov. 12, 2020 | Data valid Nov. 10, 2020
This week’s drought summary: The heaviest precipitation fell on northwestern and southeastern parts of the country. The higher elevations of Washington and Oregon recorded 1.5 to locally 8.0 inches, with 2 to 4 inch totals reported in northwest Montana, north Idaho, and parts of eastern Washington and Oregon. On the other side of the country, Tropical Storm Eta dropped heavy rains on southern Florida. Amounts between 5 and 10 inches soaked parts of the greater Miami area. Meanwhile, moderate precipitation – with locally heavy amounts in the higher elevations – fell in association with the Pacific Northwest storm as it moved eastward. In general, precipitation totals (and drought relief) generally increased moving north and west away from southern California and the southern Rockies. Most higher elevations, in addition to a broad area across Montana, received at least 0.5 inch. East of the Rockies, moderate precipitation of 0.5 to locally 2.5 inches covered a swath from the central Great Plains northward through the upper Mississippi Valley and western Great Lakes. Similar amounts fell on a small area in the Louisiana Bayou, but across the rest of the central and eastern United States, little or no precipitation fell. The High Plains and lower elevations of the southern Intermountain West and Rockies also recorded no more than a few tenths of an inch. Above-normal temperatures broadly dominated the Nation from the Intermountain West eastward to the Atlantic Coast. Temperatures averaged 10 to 18 deg. F above normal from the southern High Plains northward and eastward through the Great Plains and Great Lakes Region. Slightly below normal temperatures were restricted to the western tier of states.
South: Light to moderate rain fell on much of Louisiana, but the rest of the region was warm and dry. As a result, dryness expanded in parts of Oklahoma, and a few patches of D0 began to dot the lower Mississippi Valley. More significantly, dryness and drought broadly intensified across Texas south of the Panhandle. Conditions are abnormally dry or worse across much of the state. Areas of D1 and a few patches of D2 were brought into parts of central and eastern Texas, while severe to exceptional drought is common in central Texas and the western tier of the state. Broad patches of D4 exceptional drought now cover much of the Big Bend and along the New Mexico border. Farther north, little change was noted across the Panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and near the Red River Valley.
Looking ahead: Through Nov. 16, 2020, heavy precipitation is expected from an interaction of a frontal system and Tropical Storm Eta in the Southeast. Up to five inches are expected in parts of the Eastern Carolinas, and amounts of 1.5 to four inches are expected in the west-Central Florida Peninsula and across the remainder of the Carolinas northward into the middle Atlantic states. Heavy precipitation is also expected in the Pacific Northwest, with five to 10 inches fairly common along the north half of the Pacific Coast and over the Central and Northern Cascades. Lesser amounts are forecast over the rest of the Pacific Northwest from the Cascades westward, and in some higher elevations across the Intermountain West. Moderate precipitation, with isolated amounts approaching two inches, could fall on the higher elevations in the central Rockies and in a swath across central Missouri and southern Illinois. In contrast, little or no precipitation is expected through the Plains, Gulf Coast, desert Southwest, and southern parts of California and Nevada. Meanwhile, most of the contiguous United States should average a few degrees above normal, with subnormal temperatures restricted to the northern Rockies and Intermountain West.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10 day outlook (Nov. 17-21) favors above-normal precipitation across much of Alaska, the northern and central Intermountain West, northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. From the Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic Coast, odds favor below-normal precipitation outside Maine and southern Florida. It should be cooler than normal in southeast Alaska, New England, the middle Atlantic region, and the eastern Carolinas. Warm weather should cover northern and western Alaska, from the Mississippi Valley west to the Pacific Coast, and along the Gulf Coast.