Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Current U.S. Drought Monitor

NOTE: To view regional drought conditions, click on map above. State maps can be accessed from regional maps

The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 8 a.m. EDT. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

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The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For local details and impacts, please contact your State Climatologist or Regional Climate Center

National Drought Summary for Sep 9, 2014

Summary

Over the last seven-day period, an active pattern has helped to bring precipitation over several of the drought regions in the country. As the monsoon season continues and has been aided by tropical moisture coming up the Gulf of California, portions of the Southwest continue to see significant moisture. Areas in and around the Phoenix metro area recorded up to 6 inches of rain on the morning of September 8. Substantial flooding took place in many parts of the area. Several days of rain and thunderstorms helped to bring some relief over the southern Plains where August was especially dry. In the Texas panhandle, central Oklahoma, and eastern Kansas, 1.5-3.0 inches of rain was recorded this week. The upper Midwest also had a good week of rain where 2-3 inches fell over portions of northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and central Minnesota. A change in the pattern over the southeastern United States allowed for a return of moisture into the region, with significant rains, up to 6 inches this week, over areas from northern Florida up the coast and into the Carolinas. Temperatures varied across the country this week, with above-normal temperatures over the eastern third and west coast of the United States. Below-normal temperatures were recorded over much of the central to southern Plains as well as the central to northern Rocky Mountains.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico

Even with the recent tropical activity in Hawaii, not all areas were experiencing an abundance of precipitation. With some dryness being observed, D0 was introduced on the Big Island and expanded on Molokai. There were no changes in Alaska and Puerto Rico this week.

Midwest

Mainly a dry week over the Midwest, but the upper Midwest and Kentucky did see 200-300 percent of normal rain this week. Temperatures were generally warm as well with departures of 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit over the north and east portions of the region and 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit below normal over Iowa and southern Illinois. The improvements this week came with the removal of D0 over northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan. A full category improvement was also done over western Kentucky and adjacent areas into Tennessee. In northern Indiana, D0 was expanded slightly to the south as well.

South

The western portions of the region saw above-normal precipitation this week, upwards of 200-300 percent of normal in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Farther east, the precipitation diminished. Temperatures were below normal in those areas that recorded the most rain, but generally the region was 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Many improvements were made this week, especially in west Texas and the Texas panhandle, where a full category improvement was observed. Some tropical moisture made it into far south Texas and improvements were made to the D0 and D1 there this week. In Oklahoma, D3 was improved over the western portions of the state while D1 and D0 were improved in the central and northeastern portions of the state. Lingering dryness over northern Arkansas led to the expansion of D0 this week.

Southeast

Much of the region was warm this week with departures from normal of 4-6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Along with the warmer temperatures, an abundance of precipitation was also recorded, with many areas from Florida up to Virginia having more than 200 percent of normal rain for the week. With this moisture, some improvements were made in the region. In North Carolina, D0 was removed in the southeast and northwest portions of the state. Georgia saw D0 removed over several northern counties as well as into the southwest. Georgia also had D1 improved in the southeast. The improvements were also observed in northeast Florida, where D0 was improved as well.

The High Plains

Mainly dry conditions over most of the region this week, with only portions of Kansas, central Nebraska, and North Dakota recording more than 200 percent of normal precipitation. Temperatures were generally below normal over Nebraska, Kansas, and northern Wyoming and into the western Dakotas. Improvements were made in Nebraska and Kansas as there was little support for D1 in the eastern portions of both states. In southeast Nebraska and eastern Kansas, D1 was improved, while improvements to D1 were also made in north central into western Kansas. In southwest Nebraska, D0 was also improved as the current pattern of above-normal moisture continued. Southeast Kansas saw D2 removed this week as well.

The Northeast

A generally dry week, with most areas recording less than 1 inch of precipitation and areas along the New England coast recording less than 0.25 inches. Along with the dryness, temperatures were above normal, with departures of 4-6 degrees Fahrenheit common throughout the region. The dryness was acknowledged this week with expansion of D0 around New York City, south into northern New Jersey, west into Pennsylvania, and farther north into New York.

The West

Warm temperatures over most of the region were experienced during the week, with only areas of Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon having temperatures below normal this week. The monsoon moisture over the southwest continued and was amplified with some tropical moisture this week. Flooding rains over the Phoenix metro area along with significant moisture over much of the central portion of the state did help to ease drought concerns, and a full category improvement was made where the greatest precipitation was observed.

Looking Ahead

Over the next 5-7 days the precipitation pattern looks to be quite active and encompassing the eastern half of the United States. The greatest precipitation amounts are anticipated over the Midwest, southern Plains, and Southeast, with projected amounts of up to 3.50 inches. The moisture plume over the Southwest looks to shift east over the next week with amounts of up to an inch in New Mexico, west Texas, and Colorado. Temperatures will be cooler than normal over the High Plains, with maximum temperature departures of 12-15 degrees below normal forecast over Nebraska, South Dakota, and eastern Wyoming.

The 6-10 day outlook shows the cooler-than-normal temperatures more likely over the eastern half of the United States. The best chances for above-normal temperatures are centered on the Great Basin and western United States as well as most of Alaska. The projections show that most of the Midwest, New England, Plains, northern Rocky Mountains, and southern Mississippi Valley have the best chances for below-normal-precipitation. Above-normal precipitation chances are greatest over the southeast and southwestern United States as well as southern Alaska.


Author(s):
Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center

View a printable narrative here.

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