South Drought Summary
In northern Mississippi, indicators such as DNPs and SPIs out to 6-months, and stream flows generally below-normal for at least the past 28-days, prompted the introduction of D0 across parts of Lafayette, Union, Pontotoc, and Benton counties. Deteriorating conditions justified widespread expansion of D0 across much of central Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana. An area of moderate drought (D1) was added to the depiction in eastern Mississippi. A challenge for this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor involves trying to balance a mixture of shorter-term intense dryness (Louisiana recently reported its driest September on record) with some wetness in the 45-60 day timeframe associated with Hurricane Harvey. In southwestern Arkansas, it was decided to hold off a bit longer on introducing severe drought (D2) to the region, though some drought indicators are pointing in that direction. In Oklahoma, one-class improvements were rendered to the depiction in northern and eastern portions of the state based on the reception of ample precipitation (generally 1-3 inches, but 5 inches or more was noted in southern Osage and Pawnee Counties). In contrast, in southeastern Oklahoma, some deterioration was noted in Atoka and Pushmataha Counties, where significant deficits remain (PNPs 25%-50% for past 30-days). In Texas, a number of small-scale degradations and improvements were made, with more widespread improvements rendered over northeastern Texas.
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