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Wet Weather Works to Shrink Drought

Drought monitor shows slight easing of dryness and drought across western U.S.

Published on: Oct 17, 2013

Rains across the Plains and into the Midwest yielded another drought decline last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

At least an inch fell on a broad area from most of Nebraska easternmost Wyoming and adjacent Nebraska, the Dakotas, much of central and western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa, the report said. From 2-4 inches of precipitation was recorded, with isolated totals of up to 6 inches.

One-category improvements were widespread through all but the northeastern sections of the Dakotas and sizeable areas across the rest of the Central Plains and Midwest. Most locations from the northern and western tiers of Iowa to the north and west now report surplus precipitation on time scales dating back at least 60 days, the Drought Monitor said. East of these areas, precipitation was light at best, and short-term precipitation deficits persisted from interior Iowa and parts of southern Minnesota southward and eastward through the dry areas in the middle Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes region.

Drought monitor shows slight easing of dryness and drought across western U.S.
Drought monitor shows slight easing of dryness and drought across western U.S.

Amounts of 6 to 10 inches of precipitation were fairly widespread across the central and southern Dakotas, eastern Nebraska, and along the Nebraska/Wyoming border.

In the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley, another week of scattered heavy rains led to several areas of improvement, notably the elimination of most D2 in southeast Arkansas and adjacent areas.

Despite the recent wet pattern, however, heavier rains have largely missed a few small areas, prompting 1-category deteriorations in the region. Specifically, D1 was introduced in a persistently dry area in central Arkansas.

Much of the East Coast also experienced moderate rains, but intense rainfall wiped out abnormal dryness from eastern North Carolina northward through central sections of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some D0 persisted in the east-central Carolinas where rainfall was lighter.

Also, with a sharp northern edge to the heavy precipitation, a dry week prompted D0 persistence and expansion across northern and northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, the New York City area, parts of southern New England, and a few areas of upstate New York.

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Wet Weather Works to Shrink Drought