Drought and Precipitation Update
Hard to believe we are already a month and half into the New Year. Since the New Year we have seen some interesting trends and weather across the United States. The graphic below shows precipitation totals across the lower 48 states since December 31. Most noticeable is the heaviest precipitation has been in the far west and the far east so far this year, while precipitation has been much lighter in the nation’s midsection.
The big storm in January along the eastern seaboard is mostly responsible for the heavy amounts of precipitation in the far east while another area of above normal rain/snow in the Pacific Northwest and Northern and Central California is highlighted. After a very wet December, many areas of the Southern Plains have now trended much drier since the New Year. This is especially true in the Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Another area of below normal precipitation has been observed across many areas of the Northern Plains (eastern Montana, the Dakotas and portions of Minnesota. While the drier pattern may persist into March and April in the Northern Plains, wet weather is likely to return to the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies.
Below is the most recent drought status update for the west. Although severe drought conditions persist in California, there have been noticeable improvements in the Pacific Northwest as well as portions of central and northern California.
The graphic below highlights the areas of drought improvement over the past 90 days (in shades of green).