Exceptional drought was expanded in coverage over central Georgia, with the area indicated reflecting Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) values out through 24 months (SPI3, SPI6, SPI9, SPI12, and SPI24) all indicating drought severity of at least D2. Above-average temperatures exacerbated conditions across the state, as it was second warmest year on record at Augusta-Bush Field, from May of 2011-May 2012.
The Ohio and Tennessee Valleys: Abnormally dry conditions expanded across Tennessee, eastern Missouri, and portions of western Kentucky, while some welcomed rains prompted the removal of D0 conditions across eastern Kentucky. That reduction is dry conditions depicted on the map are in sharp contrast to the lack of precipitation that has developed as over the past 3 months near the COOP sites of Shelbyville, Winchester, and Tullahoma, which are having their driest such period ever on record. Tullahoma has a period of record of 120 years.
The Midwest/Northern Plains: Contrasting signals emerged over Illinois and Indiana. Recent rains stemmed the tide of drought in some areas but did were not enough to stop the reports of dry conditions across Indiana. Minor modifications were made to the depiction of drought over Illinois to reflect some recent rains (1.0-1.9 inches).
Farther north, a wet pattern allowed for some improvement over the arrowhead of Minnesota and across North and South Dakota. Improvements across Minnesota were based on recovering lake levels and recent rains (30 and 60-day percent of normal were greater than 125 percent in some regions). Across the Dakotas, 30 and 60-day percent of normal precipitation and SPI values were used to shape the drought depiction. Those indicators warranted the removal of D1 conditions near the North Dakota-South Dakota border, and improved conditions across Perkins and Ziebach counties. Eastern South Dakota has experienced near-median to 150 percent of median precipitation for this calendar year while stock dams out west are still drier than desired.
Central and Southern Plains: The changes to the drought conditions across Texas varied this week, with some improvements across the northern portions of the state. Across the northern portions of the state locally 0.5 – 2.0 inches of rain fell near Hockley County. The rest of the state experienced above-normal temperatures and below-median rainfall, so drought conditions were expanded and/or intensified to reflect SPI values over the past 2 through 6 months. Rains the fell on Monday prompted a small improvement near Del Rio (0.5-1.5 inches).