The Northeast and mid-Atlantic: A significant storm system brought widespread rains (2-4 inches) to coastal areas of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region early this week, and generally up to a foot of unusually late-season snow across the higher terrain of west-central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, extreme eastern West Virginia, and portions of western New York. Even higher snowfall accumulations were reported over very localized areas. Towards the Atlantic coast, light to moderate rain fell for a 24-36 hour period, with most of it going right into the dry soils, and not as runoff into streams and rivers. As a result, stream flow gauges showed little rise overall, despite the impressive precipitation amounts. The precipitation departures from normal (DNP) during the past 60- and 90-days over this region are between 2-6 inches and 4-8 inches, respectively. Parts of the drought depiction in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic were scaled back to highlight improvement, especially along the coastal areas. In some cases, if the offsetting 60- and 90-day DNPs were not too large, a 1-category improvement was made.
The Southeast: During the past week, light to moderate rain (less than 2 inches) fell across a large portion of the Southeast, with heavy precipitation (2 inches or greater) observed near the spine of the southern Appalachians, a few locations over the coastal plain, and also over a significant portion of Florida. Though rainfall coverage was good across North Carolina, the stream flows apparently have not responded in tandem, suggesting no modifications to the state’s drought rendition. In South Carolina, showers and thunderstorms provided much needed rainfall to crops and pastures. Soil moisture conditions improved slightly to 9 percent very short, 39 percent short, 51 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The average temperature for the state during this period was 3 degrees above normal with 6 days suitable for field work. The drought depiction was not altered. Minor trimming of the abnormal dryness (D0) region in northeast Georgia was performed, due to weekly rainfall amounts of 3 or more inches. The elimination of D0 conditions was applied to the counties of Habersham, White, Lumpkin, Union, Towns, and Rabun – all in far northeast Georgia.
Recent rainfall has also warranted a 1-category upgrade to much of southern Florida. One of the upgrades included removal of the extreme drought (D3) area in Glades County (west side of Lake Okeechobee). In northern Alabama, water demand from vegetation, higher sun angle, and low stream flows (lowest tenth of historical distribution) supported some southward expansion of D0 conditions.