The West: Across Utah, a reassessment of conditions prompted the removal of an area of severe drought, but the expansion of moderate drought. Snow-water equivalent, percent of normal values were the lowest across the western and eastern portions of the state. Beaver River Basin was at 47 percent of normal, and the Sevier River Basin was at 21 percent of normal, while the Price-San Rafael Basin was at 1 percent of normal. SPI values indicate this split as well. Recommendations from the Upper Colorado River Basin NIDIS project also supported this configuration. Further, the data analyzed by the UCRB project participants supported the introduction of Severe Drought (D2) conditions across Larimer County.
A small improvement to conditions was noted across the central Sierra Nevada mountains as 30-day percent of normal precipitation indicated wetter than average conditions. The impacts designation across Utah and Nevada was also changed to SL to reflect the impact to hydrologic conditions and that data through at least 6 months indicates very dry conditions.
Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: Windward locations of the Hawaiian Islands generally received 1-2 inches of precipitation during the past 7-days. Strong gradients in precipitation and greenness were evident in photos sent in from the USDA FSA field agents. Conditions were unchanged across Puerto Rico and Alaska, although Alaska has been experiencing dry conditions lately.
Looking Ahead: Forecasts from the National Weather Service depict an active northern storm track for the next 5 days, with some moisture moving northward over the western Gulf Coast. Rainfall amounts are expected to exceed 3 inches across portions of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, with amounts greater than 1 inch expected from North Dakota to New Hampshire. Dry conditions are anticipated across the Southwest, Central Rockies and much of the southern Great Plains. During the period from May 8-12, conditions favor warmer than normal temperatures from Nevada to the Pacific Northwest and across the southeast with below-normal temperatures from the southern Great Plains to the Northeast. A southward shift in the active weather is anticipated, as wet conditions are favored from Texas to Nebraska, and across the southeast.
Author: Matthew Rosencrans, Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS/NOAA
D0 ... Abnormally Dry ... used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought, or for areas recovering from drought.
Drought Intensity Categories
D1 ... Moderate Drought
D2 ... Severe Drought
D3 ... Extreme Drought
D4 ... Exceptional Drought
Drought or Dryness Types
S ... Short-Term, typically <6 months (e.g. agricultural, grasslands)
L ... Long-Term, typically >6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)