In Nebraska and Colorado, additional moderate to heavy (1.5 to 4 inches) rains erased D0 across Nebraska except for a few small pockets where medium- and long-term shortages (at both 90-days and since October 1; less than 70 percent) lingered. This included extreme southeastern and south-central sections of the state. Farther west in Colorado, another wet week brought 2 to 3 inches of precipitation to northern and western portions of the state, providing a second week of additional improvements to the moisture conditions. A 1-category reduction in drought (D0 to D2) was made across northeastern Colorado where 2 to 3 inches fell, but with lower amounts to the south, D2 and D3 remained, especially in the southeast. A slight expansion of D2 into the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado as winter precipitation was lower than surrounding regions. Even with the recent rains, USDA/NASS pasture and winter wheat conditions rated poor or very poor stood at 48 and 40 percent for Colorado.
The Southwest: Although little or no rain fell on southern sections of the Southwest (southern Arizona, southern and eastern New Mexico, west Texas, southeastern Colorado), unsettled weather did make it far enough south into the Four Corners Region to drop unseasonably heavy precipitation (0.5 to 2 inches) on parts of central Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and southeastern Utah). Flagstaff, AZ, was now at normal for the year with the latest round of precipitation. Even heavier amounts were reported north of this area. As a result, some slight improvements to D0 to D2 edges were made in central Arizona, D0 and D1 were trimmed in northwestern New Mexico, and D0 was removed from southwestern Colorado. In southwest Texas, another week of rain (0.5 inches) in western Crockett and northeastern Pecos counties slightly reduced D4 there.
Hawaii and Alaska: Scattered light to moderate (0.5 to 2 inches) showers fell on the eastern (Big Island) and western (Kauai and Oahu) Hawaiian Islands while little or no rain was reported in the central (Maui, Molokai, Lanai) islands. On Maui, abnormal dryness was expanded to cover the rest of the island as low irrigation ditches were reported in eastern sections, along with lower yields at the Upcounty Agriculture park due to lower irrigation flows. Reduced forage has also led to an encroachment of deer onto farms and pastures. In contrast, the Big Island saw some improvement with recent rains. The D2 area was split in half as the mid-slopes received good April rains, and the pastures recovered. Unfortunately, the vegetation did not recover in the lower elevations near Kawaihae and upper elevations near Pohakuloa as D2 remained. On the western Big Island lower Kona slopes, ample rains have eliminated lingering D0 as farmers in much better shape than last year. Lastly, the southern Big Island improved from D1 to D0 near Kapapala and Pahala area with continued shower activity. Elsewhere, conditions stayed the same.