Maps released Nov. 14, 2019 | Data valid Nov. 12, 2019
This week’s drought summary: Much of the eastern half of the country saw widespread snow and rain combined with record-breaking cold during the Drought Monitor week ending Tuesday, November 12. The combination helped alleviate short-term dryness and drought in much of Texas, the Ohio River Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. Meanwhile, the dry pattern continued across California and the Great Basin, leading to a deterioration in conditions. Six weeks into the water year, many parts of the country have yet to see any precipitation, while higher than normal temperatures have kept evaporative demand high.
South: Widespread rain and cooler than normal temperatures across the region led to one-category improvements in southeast Tennessee, west-central Oklahoma, and much of Texas. Improvements in Tennessee are supported by precipitation, streamflow, and soil moisture. In Oklahoma, the northern edge of abnormal dryness was trimmed as precipitation deficits in this area have been erased out to six months. Many of the drought-affected areas in Texas saw weekly precipitation that exceeded 300 to 600 percent of normal, resulting in the elimination of extreme drought (D3) in the northern part of the state and overall reductions to the other categories. The southern part of the state also saw broad areas of improvement. Note that the designation “SL” was added to the southwest region to reflect the short- and long-term nature of the precipitation deficits and impacts.
Looking Ahead: Over the next week, generally warmer than normal temperatures are expected in the western U.S. Farther east, the cold, polar air mass responsible for the early week chill in the central and eastern U.S. will exit to the east, leaving more moderate temperatures in its wake. Some rain is forecast by the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in east Texas on Thursday, with rain also occurring in the Southeast through Monday. Elsewhere, some precipitation is also expected in the Pacific Northwest, and generally dry conditions are forecast elsewhere.