The Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from USDA and the Department of Commerce shows drought persisting, particularly over the western half of the United States and also in Florida. Two winter storms during the week ending March 9 however, provided some needed soil moisture across the Plains and Midwest.

Following a pair of significant storms in late February, last-week’s storm dropped over eight inches on Grand Forks, North Dakota, 9.6 inches in Rockford, Illinois and almost 20 inches at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map included in the report projects persistent drought through May 31 from California east to Oklahoma and Kansas, and from Texas north across Wyoming and into Montana. The map indicates drought with some improvement across much of the Northern Plans including Nebraska, the Dakotas and the western half of Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri. Eastern Minnesota and Iowa and western Wisconsin show drought likely to improve and impacts easing between now and the end of May.

For the month of February, precipitation totals were above normal across most of the Midwest and Southeast. Georgia set a record for total February precipitation. Most of the Central Plains received precipitation near normal during February while much of the West was below normal or much below normal. Monthly precipitation in portions of the northern Rocky Mountains and Southwest totaled less than 25 percent of normal

February temperatures averaged below normal across much of the Southwest and above normal in parts of the North and Northeast. Most of the country experienced average temperatures near normal during February.

See the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from USDA and the Department of Commerce.