Lincoln, Neb. -- In the week ending June 11, Tropical (and Post-Tropical) Storm Andrea brought relief to the Eastern Seaboard, but hot and dry conditions continued in the West, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The area of the 48 continental states in moderate drought or worse remained nearly unchanged from last week (44.13 percent, from 44.11 percent a week earlier), according to statistics released with the map. The area in exceptional drought, the worst category, decreased slightly, to 4.69 percent from 4.79 percent last week. The area that is now free of drought increased to 46.93 percent, from 45.02 percent last week.
Tropical Storm Andrea brought heavy rainfall to the Southeast, improving conditions in the Florida Panhandle, southwestern and south central Florida, southwestern Alabama, and southwestern Georgia. As a post-tropical storm, Andrea also brought heavy rainfall to the Mid-Atlantic, where, for the first time since April 2010, North Carolina is drought-free. Southern West Virginia also saw improvements. In the Northeast, areas of abnormal dryness (D0) were removed from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
In the West, hot and dry conditions and below-normal precipitation resulted in continued deterioration of pasture and rangeland conditions across Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico, according to the USDA NASS Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. Areas of moderate and severe drought were expanded in south central, central, and southwestern Idaho, and severe drought expanded in southeastern Oregon. Abnormally dry conditions deteriorated to moderate drought in a small area of northern Nevada.
In the Plains and Midwest, conditions improved in northwestern Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, North Dakota, extreme eastern South Dakota, Nebraska, and eastern and north central Kansas. In extreme western Oklahoma, despite some locally heavy rains, conditions remain unchanged as precipitation deficits persist.
In Texas, modest to locally heavy rainfall amounts led to improvements in eastern Texas, the Texas Panhandle, the Trans-Pecos, and western Texas, but dry conditions in south central Texas led to an expansion of areas of severe and exceptional drought, according to U.S. Drought Monitor author David Simeral.
U.S. Drought Monitor authors synthesize many drought indicators into a single map that identifies areas of the country that are abnormally dry (D0), in moderate drought (D1), in severe drought (D2), extreme drought (D3) and exceptional drought (D4).
The U.S. Drought Monitor map is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and about 350 drought observers across the country. Simeral is with the Western Regional Climate Center.
The map is released each Thursday based on data through the previous Tuesday morning.
Statistics for the percent area in each category of drought are automatically added to the U.S. Drought Monitor website each week for the entire country and Puerto Rico, for the 48 contiguous states, for each climate region, and for individual states. U.S. Drought Monitor data online goes back to January 2000.
U.S. Drought Monitor map, statistics and narrative summary: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
Drought Impact Reporter: http://droughtreporter.unl.edu
USDA’s weekly “Agriculture in Drought” analysis:
National Climatic Data Center’s State of the Climate Drought Summary:
Seasonal Drought Outlook: