The Northeast and Mid Atlantic: Most of New England saw above-normal precipitation for the week and temperatures that were at or slightly above normal. Much of the Mid Atlantic was dry outside of central Virginia. Concerns are starting to develop as short-term dryness starts to impact the Mid Atlantic, coupled with temperatures 6-8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. D0 was expanded to include more of northern Virginia, Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area.
Southeast: A week that had temperatures well above normal and only scattered precipitation led to further intensification of the drought conditions. D4 was expanded to include all of southwest Georgia, northern Florida and more of southeast Alabama. D0 was expanded to include most of northern Alabama and extreme southern Tennessee as agricultural impacts are becoming quite common with the heat and lack of normal precipitation. Streamflows for this time of year are worse than they were in 2007 when the same portions of Alabama and Georgia were being impacted by a significant drought event. In the panhandle of Florida, a categorical intensification took place where D0 was replaced with D1, and D2 and D3 conditions also expanded. In central Florida, D3 was expanded northward while D0 and D1 were expanded to the west. A continued slow start to the wet season in Florida continues to prolong and intensify the drought conditions.
The Plains: Conditions were fairly wet over much of the northern plains, with scattered precipitation in the central plains. Dry conditions continued in the southern plains. The heaviest rains were in the Dakotas and along the Kansas and Oklahoma border. With all the precipitation, the northern plains were 4-6 degrees Fahrenheit below normal this last week while the southern plains were 6-8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. In central Oklahoma, D1 was improved to D0 with some stations recording more than 2.50 inches of rain over the last week and close to 8 inches over the last month. Other locations that did receive decent rains were left unchanged this week as the mounting deficits and heat quickly diminished any relief they brought. In central Texas, D1 was intensified to D2, while D2, D3 and D4 were all expanded as well. In the Texas Panhandle, D4 was expanded in the northern sections and along the southern coast; D3 was expanded along the coastline. An area along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana was also intensified from D3 to D4 this week as more indicators were bringing this region in line with current D4 classifications.
Midwest: The region remained unchanged this week as ample precipitation was recorded over much of the area. Some portions of central and northern Wisconsin as well as the upper peninsula of Michigan are showing some signs of dryness over the last 30-60 days and should be monitored closely.
The West: The ample snowpack is still replenishing the water storage of the region, with the melt off taking place even more rapidly with warmer temperatures. Montana continues to stay very wet with more than 200 percent of normal precipitation over the last 30 days for the entire state. Intensification of drought conditions in Colorado included the expansion of D2 and D3 over eastern Colorado while the area of abnormally dry conditions along the western slopes was pushed to the west. With several locations in southeast Arizona recording the driest January to June period of record, D4 was expanded to include more of southeast Arizona along the New Mexico border.
Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: Some improvements were made in Hawaii on the Big Island this week as recovery from drought is taking place slowly. D2 was improved to D1 in Pohakuloa and D0 and D1 conditions were also improved on the Kau slopes and South Kona. No changes were made in Alaska or Puerto Rico this week.
Looking Ahead: Over the next 5 days (June 15-19), a ridge of high pressure will set up over the southeastern United States, bringing with it warm temperatures. Temperatures will range from 6-9 degrees Fahrenheit above normal from the southern plains to the Carolinas. Dry conditions are expected over much of the southwest, southern plains and west coast, with the wettest areas to the north of the ridge. Precipitation maxima of 3-4 inches could be recorded from Iowa to Ohio during this time.
The CPC 6-10 day forecast (June 20-24) continues to show the ridge over the southeastern United States, bringing above-normal temperatures through much of the region, with the warmest temperatures expected over Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Temperatures are expected to be below normal over the northern Rocky Mountains, Plains and Midwest as well as the Pacific coast. Above-normal temperatures are likely over most of Alaska as well. Precipitation will continue to ride along the northern extent of the ridge over the southeast, with the best chances for above-normal precipitation over the Midwest and northern plains. Dry conditions are likely over the central and southern plains, southeast, Alaska, and the Great Basin.
Author: Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center
D0 ... Abnormally Dry ... used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought, or for areas recovering from drought.
Drought Intensity Categories
D1 ... Moderate Drought
D2 ... Severe Drought
D3 ... Extreme Drought
D4 ... Exceptional Drought
Drought or Dryness Types
A ... Agricultural
H ... Hydrological