Summary: Locally heavy rain provided drought relief in portions of the Southeast, while much-needed, locally heavy snow stabilized some western snowpacks. However, much of the west continued to wrestle with precipitation deficits and below-normal snow-water storage.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: The region’s first widespread winter storm dropped a mix of snow, ice, and rain. Liquid total precipitation equivalent was generally less than an inch, but was enough to stave off any expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0) in New England and the lower Delmarva. Over the past 90 days, precipitation has tallied less than 70 percent of normal in southeastern Virginia and southern portions of the Maryland and Virginia Eastern Shore; rain or snow will be needed to prevent degradation into Moderate Drought (D1) over the upcoming weeks.
Southeast: Locally heavy rain in northern and western portions of the region contrasted with increasingly dry conditions farther south and east. A storm and its attendant cold front dropped 2 to 4 inches of rain across Alabama and northern and western portions of Georgia, resulting in some 1-category improvements in the latest drought designation. However, the rain largely bypassed the core Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) Drought areas of Georgia, resulting in little if any improvements across central and southern portions of the state. In Florida, light to moderate showers (0.25 to 2.0 inches) were reported from the panhandle toward Ocala. Dry weather prevailed across the remainder of the state, which coupled with declining streamflows, elevated fire danger, and increasing short-term precipitation deficits resulted in expansion of Moderate Drought (D1) across Lake Okeechobee toward West Palm Beach. In northeastern Florida, Severe Drought (D2) was expanded southward toward Gainesville to reflect streamflows in the 5th percentile (or lower) and 90-day precipitation deficits of 6 inches or greater. Farther north, no change was made to the Carolinas , with many areas receiving a half inch or more of rain; however, the southern and eastern portions of North and South Carolina continue to teeter toward drought intensification, with short- and long-term Standardized Precipitation Indices (SPI) indicating varying degrees of Drought.
Delta: Scattered showers, some heavy, were reported across southern and eastern portions of the region. The heaviest rain, which tallied 2 to 3 inches in central Louisiana and southern Mississippi, brought some minor improvements to D0 (Abnormally Dry) and D1 (Moderate Drought) in these locales. The rest of the region remained unchanged.