Western Drought Update
With the downhill side of summer on the way we thought it would be good time to take a look at the current drought situation in the west.
The graphic below shows precipitation so far for the month of August. As you can see in the image below, the most prolific rainfall so far in August has been across the nation’s mid section, Midwest and western Corn Belt along with Florida. The past ten days have been quite dry in central and eastern Texas as well as along the Pacific Northwest coast south to California.
However, despite the dry start to August in the far west, drought conditions have held their own in the far west (not getting worse in most of California). Soil moisture conditions have improved since May over the central and southern Rockies as well as the Great Basin states. Dry conditions, however, have intensified over the Pacific Northwest and some areas of the northern Rockies including Idaho and most of Montana.
The latest drought monitor below shows the extreme drought in California persisting (but not intensifying due to some rare July rains). Drought conditions have improved significantly in New Mexico, Arizona and many areas of Wyoming and Colorado are reporting no drought conditions.
While the prospects for rain in the far west will be low over the next ten days, the chances for some tropical activity in the eastern Pacific will increase at the end of August. This should be increasing rain chances to the far west, southwest and Rockies at the tail end of August and into early September.
We continue to monitor the developing El Nino in the subtropical Pacific which is likely going to be strong one this fall and winter. Enhanced rainfall is still on the table for California and the Desert Southwest beginning late fall and heading into December, January, February and March.