Hawaii: There are many notable changes across the state this week, starting in the west with Kauai, where favorable rains led to the removal of D0. Oahu also shared in the improvements with a reduction of D1 to D0 there. The rains didn’t come to Molokai this week; reservoir levels continue to drop and water restrictions remain on agricultural activity, leading to an introduction of D4 across the western half of the island. Maui remains dry as well, especially on the leeward side where D3 has encroached upon the Upcountry and Kaupo areas, leading to rangeland/feed issues for livestock there. The Big Island saw a bit of both worlds (wet and dry) last week as the windward side received ample precipitation, which led to a reduction of the D0. On the Kona side, D1 had been degraded to D2 and D3 has expanded northward from the South Kohala region into the lower leeward reaches of the Kohala Mountains.
Looking Ahead: During the next 5 days (March 1 - 5, 2012), the forecast calls for a good chance of heavy rains across parts of the Southeast, particularly northern Alabama, northern Georgia and the Carolinas. Florida and other parts across the coastal Gulf Coast regions can also expect more modest, normal-like totals for this time of year. The Pacific Northwest remains in its active pattern, which may also be shared across the Sierra-Nevadas and the Wasatch Range in Utah as well. Temperatures are expected to be below normal for most of the West over this time period while most everyone else east of the Rockies can expect above-normal readings except for the northern Great Lakes region and into Minnesota, where cooler temperatures should prevail.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day (March 6 - 10, 2012) outlook is favoring another wet period across the Pacific Northwest. The Southwest and southern Plains don’t look as good during this period, with below-normal precipitation being most likely. Temperatures across most of the Intermountain West and coastal Pacific states are expected to be below normal. The eastern half of the country from Texas to the Northeast and Southeast is looking at good chances for above-normal temperatures.
Author: Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center
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)