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The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. 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 Nov 26, 2013
A series of cold fronts brought cooler and wet weather to parts of the Midwest through southern Plains early in this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week, while a slow-moving upper-level low pressure system generated rain and snow over the southern tier states from California to the Gulf of Mexico. Precipitation was below normal for most of the Pacific Northwest, northern Plains, and Midwest, and all of the Northeast and Atlantic seaboard. Above-normal precipitation dominated the Southwest, southern and central Rockies, much of Texas, and the Lower Mississippi Valley. The upper-level weather system was moving across the Gulf states and poised to move up the eastern U.S. at the end of this USDM week.
The northeast coast of Puerto Rico had several inches of rain during the last 7 days, but the southeastern portions of the island have been dry, with rainfall departures ranging from 2 inches for the month-to-date to over 8 inches for the last 90 days and over 12 inches for the last 180 days. D0, with an SL impact designation, was added to southeast Puerto Rico to reflect the largest precipitation departures, at short and long time scales, and below-normal streamflow. Most weather stations in Hawaii were drier than normal for this week, but no changes were made to the map depiction. Above-normal precipitation fell over the panhandle of Alaska, but reservoirs continued low in the southern panhandle, while the precipitation pattern was mixed over the interior D0-D1 area, so no change was made to the map depiction for Alaska this week.
An inch or more of precipitation fell across parts of the Midwest, locally in southern Iowa, southern Illinois, and parts of Missouri. D1 was trimmed slightly in northern Missouri. Although a few half-inch precipitation reports were received, most stations in northeast Kansas were much drier this week, compounding longer-term (month-to-date and 6-12 month) departures, so D0 was extended across northeast Kansas and slightly in northwest Missouri.
Frontal precipitation falling over West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania was below normal this week, with the weekly deficits compounding deficits over the past 60 to 90 days. D0 was expanded into southwest Pennsylvania and the northern half of West Virginia to reflect these deficits, low streamflow, and drying soils. An impacts area reflecting short and long-term impacts was added to coastal New England and northern New Jersey to reflect very low streamflow and dry soils. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rated November 24 topsoil as short or very short of moisture for 82% of Rhode Island, 50% of Connecticut, and 36% of Massachusetts.
Widespread 2-4-inch+ rains in Alabama early in the week were supplemented by additional rain at the end of the week, with 2-5 inches, or more, falling in northern Louisiana to central and northern Mississippi. D0-D1 shrank in southern Arkansas, D0 was carved up in Louisiana and Mississippi, and D1 was eliminated in Mississippi. The spots of D0 and D1 which remained in those states reflected longer term (90-day) dryness. Widespread 1+ inches of precipitation contracted D0 in southeast Oklahoma. In Texas, the heaviest rains (5+ inches) fell over drought-free areas, but widespread 2+ inches of precipitation occurred over drought areas, shrinking D0-D4 in many parts of the state. D4 expand in north central Texas, near Wilbarger County, reflecting persistent dryness, especially at long time scales. An impacts area reflecting short and long-term impacts was added to the South, centered on the Texas panhandle, to reflect both short-term and long-term precipitation deficits as well as agricultural and hydrological impacts. According to the November 24 USDA Crop Progress and Condition report for Texas, 70-85% of the topsoil in the panhandle districts was short or very short of moisture. Although recent rains benefited pastures, 28% of wheat, 30% of range and pasture land, and 32% of cotton, statewide, were rated in poor to very poor condition. The USDA report for Oklahoma noted 50% of subsoil and 37% of topsoil rated short to very short of moisture, and for New Mexico 62% of topsoil moisture was short to very short.
Widespread 1.5-3.0-inch rains shrank D0 in the northern half of Alabama and eastern Tennessee and deleted the D1 oval in northern Alabama, while in southwest Alabama the D0 was trimmed where 1-2-inch rains fell. D0 was contracted along parts of eastern and southern Florida where locally heavy (3+ inch) rain fell.
A slow-moving upper-level low pressure system brought rain and winter weather to the west coast and Southwest. An inch or more of precipitation fell from coastal Oregon through California, and northwestern New Mexico, with locally heavier amounts. Widespread 2+ inches of precipitation fell over Arizona, southern Nevada, southern Utah, and southwest Colorado, with 4 inches or more in central Arizona. D1 and D2 were pulled back in southern California and D1 was pulled back in southern Utah. D0 was pulled back in southwest Colorado. D1 and D2 were trimmed in northern New Mexico, with the improvements tempered by low reservoir conditions in the northwest. D0-D1 were pulled back in Arizona, especially in the central sections, and D2 was trimmed in the south. With the much-above-normal precipitation this week in Arizona and parts of southern California, the SL impacts area was shifted over to the central half of California.
As the low pressure system and cold front move up the east coast during the next couple days, they will generate widespread rain and snow. The NWS HPC 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) has 1+ inches of precipitation from the Carolinas to the Northeast, with locally 3+ inches in the Northeast, through December 4. It also calls for an inch or more of precipitation in the Cascades and northern Rockies, half an inch along the Gulf of Mexico coast, a tenth of an inch or less for the Midwest and Plains, and a dry reprieve (no precipitation) for the Southwest. Temperatures are predicted to average above normal in the West and below normal in the East. The 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks project above-normal temperatures across the southeastern third of the country, and much of Alaska, for December 4-10, and below-normal temperatures in the Alaskan panhandle and much of the West and Plains, with the below-normal temperatures progressing eastward into the Great Lakes near the end of the period. Above-normal precipitation is expected across most of the West, due to a series of Pacific weather systems, and to the Lower Mississippi Valley then much of the East, due to a series of Gulf of Mexico weather systems. Below-normal precipitation is projected for the Plains, coastal Northwest, and much of Alaska.
Richard Heim, NOAA/NCDC
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