Similar to mid-February when heavy rains inundated the south-central Great Plains, lower Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio Valleys and provided instant relief from drought, heavy rains fell along an identical track, except this time south-central Texas received more precipitation than 6 weeks ago, and Arkansas saw less.
Eerily similar was the demarcation line of minimal rain versus decent rain in central Oklahoma where western sections of the state yet again missed out on the moisture. Luckily, this was not the case in western Texas where areas between Lamesa and Lubbock finally received 0.5-1.5” of rain. Lubbock’s 0.77” of rain on Mar. 27 exceeded their Oct. 7-Mar. 26 total of 0.40”. Amarillo’s 0.24” on Mar. 27 was even more than their Oct. 7-Mar. 26 amount of 0.07”. Take away an extremely wet early October (2.14” from Oct. 3-6) and Amarillo’s conditions would have been even worse.
From south-central Texas northeastward into western Louisiana, a swath of 3-8” of rain provided 1-2 categories of drought improvement, while more scattered bands of moderate to heavy rain allowed limited 1-category improvement in parts of southern and central Texas. The aforementioned rains in west Texas were responsible for a D3 to D2 upgrade as most tools responded.
Some slight westward adjustments (improvements) of the D0 edge in north-central Texas and central Oklahoma were made as the cutoff between decent and scanty rains occurred. Unfortunately, another week with little or no precipitation in northern Texas, western half of Oklahoma, and Kansas led to additional deterioration as D4 spread into parts of the Oklahoma and northern Texas Panhandles as gusty winds produced sand storms in the area.
During April 5-9, 2018, unseasonably heavy precipitation (2-6 inches) is expected in western sections of Washington, Oregon, and the northern half of California, plus the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, with lesser amounts in the remainder of the Northwest and northern and central Rockies. Unfortunately, a sharp cutoff of precipitation (dry) is forecast for southern California, southern Nevada, and much of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. Light precipitation (less than half an inch) is predicted across the northern half of the Plains, Midwest, and southern Great Plains, with greater totals (1-3 inches) in the lower Mississippi Valley, Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and New England. Temperatures will average above-normal west of the Rockies, southern Texas, and Florida, and below-normal east of the Rockies except along the Gulf Coast.
For the ensuing 5 days (April 10-14), odds favor above-median precipitation for much of the Far West, northern thirds of the Rockies and Plains, Midwest, lower Mississippi Valley, New England, and southern Florida, with sub-median totals in the Southwest and south-central High Plains, Southeast, and northern Alaska. Chances for sub-median temperatures are likely across the northern half of the Nation, but especially in the upper Midwest and along the Northeast Coast. A tilt toward above-median readings are expected in the Southwest, southern Rockies, southern half of the Plains, southern Florida, and southern Alaska.
Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu.