For the second consecutive week, locally heavy rain provided drought relief in the south-central U.S., while another in a series of late-season Pacific storms brought beneficial precipitation to much of the Northwest. Much-needed rain fell across the central Atlantic Coastal states, but rain largely bypassed the Northeast. Unseasonable warmth persisted nearly nationwide, maintaining unseasonably high evapotranspiration rates and crop water demands across the Great Plains and Midwest.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Mostly dry, warm weather prevailed, with shower activity confined to southern-most portions of the region. In southern New England, Moderate Drought (D1) was expanded to account for 90-day precipitation deficits of 6 to 8 inches (less than 50 percent of normal). Streamflows and well-water levels have dropped further, and are in the lowest 2nd and 5th percentile, respectively, in this region. In addition, locales from northeastern Pennsylvania into southern New York and northern New Jersey will need rain soon to prevent a rapid onset and expansion of D1. Meanwhile, showers generally disappointed from southern Pennsylvania into Maryland and southeastern Virginia, with amounts mostly less than half an inch. In southwestern Virginia, moderate to heavy rain (2-5 inches) eased Abnormal Dryness (D0), with streamflows and soil moisture showing enough recovery to warrant the change.
Southeast: Locally heavy showers in northern and eastern portions of North Carolina contrasted with mostly drier- and warmer-than-normal weather elsewhere. A slow-moving disturbance generated 1 to 4 inches of rain across northern and eastern North Carolina.; with a subsequent jump in streamflows and soil moisture, D0 (Abnormal Dryness) and Moderate Drought (D1) were reduced. However, D0 was maintained in eastern and northern portions of the state to reflect lingering 180-day precipitation deficits of 4 to 6 inches (locally more). Meanwhile, scattered showers and thunderstorms occurred from central and eastern South Carolina into southern Georgia and north-central Florida, preventing any further drought increases. Despite the shower activity, streamflows exhibited only a minor improvement, and were still mostly in the 10th percentile or lower where the rain fell. Dryness persisted across the rest of the region, with no changes made to the drought designation. In Alabama, however, the western-most drought area reported 3 to 5 inches of rain, resulting in a small eastward shift of the western drought boundary.