Drought Status Update
By Don Day, Jr., Meteorologist
After a cold and wet April (one of the coldest April’s in recent years) we have experienced a nice turn around in temperatures across a large part of the lower 48 states. Other than in the Pacific Northwest, temperatures across the rest of the nation have been at or above normal so far through the first half of the month.
The warmth has been welcomed by many, although the hot weather in the Desert Southwest has also been accompanied by drier than normal conditions. Farther east, rainfall has increased in some of the dry areas of Florida and portions of the southeast. Below is a graphic of the latest drought conditions. Yellow and brown areas so dry areas with the red and orange areas showing the worst drought conditions.
The biggest drought areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, west Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and the Desert states continue. Notice the dry areas in the southeast and Florida. Although dryness persists in the Dakotas and far eastern Montana, drought conditions have improved greatly in those areas over the past 6 months.
In the coming weeks, precipitation trends show promise in some areas for more rain, this will be especially true in the central Rockies and Northern Plains. Wet areas will also persist in areas of the northern Corn Belt, especially Nebraska, Iowa, southern Minnesota/Wisconsin and portions of the Dakotas. Florida and portions of the southeastern states will also experience elevated and sometimes elevated rainfall.
Areas that are white show neutral drought conditions with those locations having average or above average soil moisture conditions.