Drought Conditions Heading into Spring
The chart below highlights changes in soil moisture over the past six months. When it comes to precipitation in many areas of the USA, the past six months has been a very important period of time.
The green and blue areas show the heavy rains and heavy mountain snow in the far west since the fall season. From the Continental Divide to the West Coast, precipitation has been well above normal and many areas experiencing severe dryness have had lots of help from Mother Nature.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have seen dryness develop east of the Rockies, especially over many areas of eastern Colorado into portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and portions of the east and southeast. Those areas are highlighted in yellow, light brown and orange. We will have to closely monitor those dry areas heading into spring and summer for possible dryness.
The most recent Drought Monitor (February 21) shown below is showing drought conditions developing in the central and southern plains. However, the good news continues in California where there are no more areas in the Golden State in the extreme drought category.
Any drought concerns heading into spring and summer appear to be shifting eastward from California to portions of the central and southern plains. However, the normally wet months of March, April and May could help alleviate some of the dryness developing.