One area of worsening conditions is shown in Osage county in northeastern Oklahoma, as a result of slow reservoir response to recent precipitation in the area.
The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic: Drought continues its hold on the Southeastern states, as Moderate drought reaches further into Florida this week. The Gulf coast around Tampa and the northern counties around Gainesville are experiencing significant shortages of precipitation for this time of year. Gainesville has recorded their third driest 365 day period on record, with a mere 32.40 inches of rain. In South Carolina, a one-category degradation to D2 and D3 was made from south central South Carolina to the coast. North Carolina remains wet in the west and dry in the east, as Abnormally Dry conditions are expanding to the central and northern reaches of the state, and further north into Virginia and the Delmarva peninsula. Widespread development of dry conditions are becoming apparent in the region.
Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico: No changes were made in Alaska, as they are experiencing heavy snow across much of the state this winter. Record snowfalls over the last couple of weeks have staved off the development of any dry conditions.
In Hawaii, an expansion of D0 is depicted this week on the southwestern slopes of Kauai.
There are no changes made to the map of Puerto Rico.
Looking Ahead: A wetter pattern is welcome in the northern states where the lack of rain and snow has begun to take its toll. For the next U.S. Drought Monitor period, the outlooks show a potential for above normal precipitation in the northern states, from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes and Midwest. Below normal precipitation for the week is forecast in the southern states, primarily from Arizona to Texas and north to Nebraska, and across the southern tip of Florida. This could exacerbate, or at least maintain, much of the drought in that region. Temperatures from Washington state to Michigan are projected to be below normal. Warmer than average conditions will likely prevail across much of the rest of the nation, from Nevada to Maine and southward to the Gulf coast. Alaska will be colder than normal over the next several days, with below normal precipitation likely.
D0 ... Abnormally Dry ... used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought, or for areas recovering from drought.
Drought Intensity Categories
D1 ... Moderate Drought
D2 ... Severe Drought
D3 ... Extreme Drought
D4 ... Exceptional Drought
Drought or Dryness Types
S ... Short-Term, typically <6 months (e.g. agricultural, grasslands)
L ... Long-Term, typically >6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)