Badly Needed Rainfall for the Plains
Although we have heard a lot about the big rain and snow in California and other portions of the west this season west of the Continental Divide, areas east of the divide have been much drier.
January, February and most of March was quite dry for areas east of the divide, especially for eastern plains of Colorado and many areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, west Texas and New Mexico. Drought conditions began to develop during that right after the New Year, however, the past two weeks have been very fruitful in regards to rain and snow to the areas mentioned above.
The most recent drought status map is shown below. The areas of yellow and brown across portions of Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma show areas of dry to areas of moderate drought with a small area of extreme drought in the Oklahoma panhandle.
Also of interest is the near removal of drought conditions in California. While there are a few areas of moderate drought still being reported in California, those areas only 6 months ago were experiencing extreme to exceptional drought.
The pattern change to a more active and wet pattern in the plains in late March is likely going to continue into April and May. Hopefully by the beginning of summer, many of the moderate drought areas will be back to normal in regards to soil moisture and precipitation amounts if current expected trends will continue.