The Northeast: A fairly dry week over much of the region did not warrant any large-scale changes. Some rains late in the period did allow for some improvements over southern New York and north central Pennsylvania, where several counties were removed from D0 status and some improvements were made to D1 conditions. Lingering dryness over the short term did allow for some introduction of D0 conditions in northern Vermont this week.
Mid-Atlantic: Heavy rains, with some amounts approaching 12 inches, helped to ease some of the drought issues in the Delmarva region. Categorical improvements were made where the greatest amounts of rain occurred and other areas were adjusted throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Short-term conditions throughout much of the area are recovering while long-term issues are lingering.
Southeast: As tropical storm Isaac sent some initial rain bands through the region, areas of south Florida picked up over 5 inches of rain. Since January 1, the Miami International airport has recorded 68.48 inches of rain, compared to a normal of 39.45 inches and 38.82 inches last year. With the last remaining areas of D0 conditions removed this week, this is the first time since June 29, 2010, that no abnormally dry or drought conditions are being depicted in Florida. Rains throughout much of eastern Georgia allowed for some easing of drought conditions there, and improvements were made to D3/D4 areas along the South Carolina coast. In North Carolina, D1 was eliminated and much of the remaining D0 was improved as well.
South: The Gulf coast of Louisiana as well as portions in east Texas continued in a wet pattern. At the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period, Hurricane Isaac was making landfall along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. The full impact of this storm and inland remnants will be considered next week for possible improvements.
Midwest: After a very dry summer, some areas have been in a wetter and cooler pattern over the last several weeks. Over the last week, the heaviest rains were recorded from northeast Kansas into southern Iowa and into central Illinois and northwest Indiana. Where the heaviest rains occurred, improvements were made, but it should be noted that many of the row crops will not benefit from these rains and pastures have had minimal improvement so far. Improvements were made in Michigan as an assessment of the impact of rains over the last several weeks allowed for the removal of D2 and a reduction of D1 conditions as well. Slight improvements were made over portions of southern Minnesota by removing the D3 from the southwest corner of the state while D1 was expanded in the central portion of the state.