Although there are still plenty of sunny, warm days ahead for many of you, summer is winding down. This is a good opportunity to look back and see how the summer of 2013 has performed, especially in regards to precipitation and whether or not drought conditions improved, got worse or stayed the same for you.
Overall the summer of 2013 has been pretty good across many areas of the lower 48 states (there are exceptions of course). The summer of 2013 has not been nearly as hot and as dry as the summer of 2012.
Drought conditions still persist in many areas of the lower 48 states, however, the drought severity has eased some in many areas as compared to what drought conditions looked like at the start of the season.
Let’s take a look at what the drought status was in the spring. Below is a drought map for April 2, 2013. As you can see, severe drought gripped the central plains. In particular, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and the western Corn Belt were the midst of the worst drought conditions.
April 2, 2013 Drought Status Map
However, by the end of August 2013 many areas have seen some improvement in drought conditions. Drought is still well entrenched in some areas of the central and southern plains, however, drought conditions have improved slightly and have not gotten worse. There have been some big improvements over Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado and in some areas of the southern plains since early April. Some dryness has returned to the Corn Belt and Midwest, however, drought conditions there have not returned.
August 27, 2013 Drought Status Map
Hopefully, the fall of 2013 and the winter of 2014 will continue the trend of cooler and wet weather that developed in the late spring and summer of 2013 in many areas.