The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: An early season winter storm impacted much of the northeast, with several locations recording more than a foot of very wet snow. To the south, temperatures were warm enough that snow was not an issue, but significant rain was recorded. No drought concerns are evident throughout this region at this time.
Southeast: Wet conditions through the Tennessee and Ohio valley regions allowed for the removal of a small area of D0 in Kentucky. Dry conditions continued along the Gulf Coast, where the impact of the rain associated with earlier tropical storms is beginning to fade. In southern Alabama, D1 was expanded to the west and to the south into the Florida panhandle. In Mississippi, D0 was introduced in the southern portions of the state, connecting the D0 regions in Alabama and Louisiana. The D1 region in northwestern South Carolina along the border with North Carolina was expanded as well as D0 in western North Carolina. Even with frequent storm systems passing through over the last few weeks, they have not accounted for enough rain to improve conditions in the region.
South: As with other locations along the Gulf Coast, the southern portions of Louisiana have remained dry, with many agricultural producers lacking adequate forage. With the continued dryness, D0 was introduced into the southeast part of the state while D1 was expanded as well. Arkansas continued a pattern of rainfall over the northwest portions of the state last week where many locations recorded more than 1 inch of rain. Over the last 90 days, this region has received multiple rain events that have continued to improve conditions. With the regular rain events, D2 conditions were improved to D1 this week for all of northwestern Arkansas.
Significant rains over portions of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle allowed for improvements to the overall drought situation this week. The D4 conditions in eastern Oklahoma were improved to D3. In southern Oklahoma, Jefferson County was improved to D2 this week, while Clay, Jack, Wichita and Archer counties in Texas also saw a categorical improvement in response to recent rains. In the Texas panhandle, D4 conditions were improved to D3 where the most significant rain has been recorded over the last 60 days. Improvements will be slow in both Oklahoma and Texas as 86 percent of Oklahoma’s and 89 percent of Texas’ pasture and range lands are in poor to very poor condition. In Texas, 88 percent of the topsoil is rated short to very short this week as well.