Weather Summary: Showers and thunderstorms from a cool front brought areas of rain to parts of the northern and central Plains, Midwest, and Northeast during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week. The rain provided little relief to the central Plains to Ohio Valley, where deficits over the last 6 months ranged from 4 to 10 inches and locally over 12 inches. Early in the week, the remnants of an old cool front triggered showers and thunderstorms from the southern Plains to the Southeast. Pacific fronts brushed parts of the Northwest, but the week was dry for most of the West. Temperatures averaged below normal beneath upper-level troughs in the Northwest and along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast states, while above-normal temperatures dominated from the Southwest to Great Plains and Great Lakes. It was a drier-than-normal week for much of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
The East: Locally heavy rains (2+ inches) were enough to eliminate the D1 (moderate drought) in southern New Jersey and contract the New Jersey-Maryland-Delaware D0 (abnormally dry area) and western New York D0. The remaining D0 in eastern Pennsylvania (around Philadelphia) was reshaped to better reflect precipitation deficits.
In the Southeast, improvement was made to the depiction from northeast Florida to southwest South Carolina due to beneficial rains this week which followed the Gulf Coast deluge from last week. Rainfall surpluses for the last 90+ days resulted in generally a 1-category improvement of the D0-D2 (severe drought) across this area. D2 was contracted in east-central Florida, and D3 (extreme drought) was trimmed in eastern Alabama. But D0 was expanded in southwest Florida and west central Alabama, and D3-D4 (exceptional drought) expanded in the vicinity of Augusta, Georgia where deficits continued to grow. Augusta still suffered from its driest rolling 365-day period (June 20, 2011 to June 19, 2012) ever on record (with 25.57 inches of precipitation, or 19.16 inches below normal) and driest 2-year period (June 20, 2010 to June 19, 2012) on record (57.41 inches of precipitation, or 32.05 inches below normal).
The Midwest: Very dry and abnormally warm weather during spring tapped moisture reserves across the Midwest. The percentage area of Midwest states having short or very short (dry or very dry) topsoil and poor to very poor condition pastures and rangeland jumped significantly (10 to 20 points) compared to the previous week. According to June 17 reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than two-thirds of the topsoil was short or very short in Illinois (70%), Arkansas (71%), Ohio (77%) Missouri (82%), and Indiana (85%), while a third or more of the pasture and rangeland was in poor or very poor condition in Illinois (33%), Indiana (41%), Missouri (47%), and Arkansas (56%). Streams were low, ponds were shrinking, and crops were stressed across much of the area. The USDM drought depiction showed deteriorating conditions across the region. D0 expanded eastward to eastern Tennessee, western Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the westernmost county in Maryland, and northward further into Lower Michigan. D1 spread across most of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, expanded in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and crept further into Iowa. D2 engulfed most of Arkansas and advanced in southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, and in western Kentucky and Tennessee. Islands of D2 appeared in northern Missouri and Indiana as well as central Illinois. And an area of D3 was introduced along the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. This week was generally drier than normal, but in the midst of this drought depiction deterioration, heavy showers and thunderstorms dropped notable amounts of rainfall in local areas. While not enough to make up for months of deficits, rainfall amounts of 2 inches or more locally held the drought expansion at bay in parts of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. A large area of SL impact type was introduced to reflect the combination of short-term (agricultural) and longer-term (hydrological) impacts.