Northeast: Most of the region experienced abnormally warm temperatures and dry weather, leading to no changes on the map this week. Impacts haven’t emerged yet, but the dryness of the past two months is of some concern with spring and the growing season right around the corner. This time serves as the recharge season, and that has been lacking.
South Atlantic and Central Gulf Coast Regions: The South Atlantic didn’t fare as well this past week with unseasonably warm weather and very little in the way of precipitation across the Carolinas up into coastal Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The exception was in south central and southern Georgia, where some modest rainfall occurred. The best rains fell in the heart of the D4 region, and that led to some slight improvement on the northern edge of the D4 within Georgia. The rest of the state remains in status quo given both the short- and long-term drought within the state. Streamflows are historically low virtually statewide save for the northern basins.
Florida saw both the good and bad with regard to the drought this past week, with most of the southern peninsula (basically east of Tallahassee and down to the Everglades) seeing little if any rain. The western Panhandle, however, saw heavy rains of 3 to 5 inches, leading to a 1-category improvement to locales in and around Tallahassee to the west and north into Alabama. Even after the good rains, the area is still in the grips of long-term drought, with D2-D3 left in place. In southern Florida, another week of dryness leads to a slight expansion of D0-D2 from the west coast to the east coast and points south of Orlando.
Both Mississippi and Alabama saw the same heavy bands of rain across the coastal regions, leading to widespread improvement by one category or more in some places within extreme southern Mississippi. Alabama also saw 1-category improvements but the dryness/drought characteristics have shifted a bit more toward the long-term (L) impact type of drought. Southeast Alabama is still fully entrenched in D3 and D4. Streamflows have not rebounded nearly as well in this quadrant of the state but have showed some promise in other regions along the coastal counties in both Mississippi and Alabama and into the extreme western reaches of the Florida Panhandle.
The Southern Great Plains and Louisiana: Louisiana saw a mixed bag of rains and results. The best rainfall totals were observed in western, central and eastern parishes. The New Orleans area and points south didn’t fare quite as well and so status quo remains. The other areas within Louisiana all saw 1-category improvement on the week.