After the cut-off period for data to be analyzed for this week’s United States Drought Monitor product, many areas in Texas and along the Gulf Coast recorded significant rainfall over drought impacted regions. None of the precipitation that was observed after Tuesday morning was considered for this week’s map, and it will need to be assessed in next week’s product. As a reminder, the period analyzed each week is from Tuesday to Tuesday, with the product being released on Thursday.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: It was a mainly dry week over much of the northeast, with much of Pennsylvania and New England drier than normal. Decent rains in northern Virginia, Maryland and the panhandle of West Virginia helped to ease the dryness that has impacted much of the region over the last 30 days. No changes in drought status were made in either region this week.
Southeast: A mix of dry conditions and scattered showers over the last seven days did not provide enough moisture to hold off the intensification of the drought. D4 was expanded in southern Georgia, southeast Alabama and the Florida panhandle. D4 was expanded in east Florida along the coast. D2 and D3 were expanded in northern Florida as well as in southwest Florida. A categorical push of the drought intensities to the north in Georgia also took place while D1 and D2 were expanded in eastern North Carolina. D0 was improved in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
In Mississippi and Louisiana, a categorical degradation took place, adding D4 along the coast and pushing the D2 and D3 categories to the north. D2 was also expanded in northeast Louisiana and D3 was introduced into northern Louisiana.
The Plains: The northern plains remained wet and cool while the southern plains remained hot and dry. The wet spring and abundant snowpack have led to flooding concerns all along the Missouri River. Water restrictions are in place for many communities in Texas, with low to moderate water pressures impacting communities. In Texas this week, D2 was intensified to D3 and D4 was expanded in south Texas. East Texas had an expansion of D3 conditions while D4 was expanded to include almost the entire panhandle. Some improvements were made in and around the Dallas metro area, as up to 3.50 inches of rain were recorded at the end of the U.S. Drought Monitor period. This allowed for the drought-free area to expand and also for a categorical improvement where the most rain was recorded in Dallas, Tarrant, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Wise, and Jack counties. Most of Oklahoma had a categorical degradation this week as well, as the hot and dry conditions continued and potential evapotranspiration values were almost double normal values.