The Southwest: While most of the region saw little or no precipitation, a small band of moderate precipitation (0.5 to 1.5 inches) fell on extreme southeastern Arizona northeastward into south-central New Mexico. Consequently, most of the D4 area in southwestern New Mexico was improved to D3, with only a small portion left as D4 where the rains missed. In south-central New Mexico, the D4 line was pulled eastward in Lincoln County (0.2 to 0.7 inches) to focus the extreme drought on the NM southeast plains instead of the south-central mountains where conditions are a bit better. In extreme southeastern Colorado (Baca County), D4 was slightly trimmed away in response to recent rains (about 0.5 inches). Although no degradation was made this week, concerns remained in the Southwest due to long-term precipitation deficiencies accumulated during past critical seasons (winter/spring and most of the summer monsoon).
The Northwest: Although heavy precipitation (2 to 6 inches, locally to 12 inches) drenched the Pacific Northwest coastal areas (from northern California northward) and the northern Rockies in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana (2 to 4 inches), interior Northwest areas saw much less, including sections of east-central Washington and eastern Oregon where little or no precipitation occurred. Accordingly, D0 was expanded southward into Adams County of interior Washington. Although the winter wheat crop is mostly good, soil moisture is in short supply and precipitation will be needed soon. Farther south in Oregon, the D0 was extended into northwestern Nevada as short-term (30-, 60-, and 90-days) and long-term (180-days) conditions were similar. In contrast, however, some parts of the two D0 areas (northeastern Washington and southwestern Oregon) measured 1 to 2 inches, and D0 was trimmed there.
Hawaii: Scattered showers were generally limited to windward sides of the islands (1 to 2 inches, locally up to 6.89 inches at Puu Kukui, Maui) during the week. Meanwhile tranquil weather occurred on the leeward sides as little or no rain occurred. No changes were made this week as D0-D3 persisted, especially on the leeward sides.
Looking Ahead: For the ensuing 5 days (December 1-5), a storm system is expected to develop and strengthen in the Southwest. This system will slowly track eastward, bringing welcome precipitation to the Southwest and eventually to the southern and central Plains. Largest 5-day precipitation totals (2 to 3 inches) are expected in Texas, northern Louisiana, and Arkansas. Meanwhile, little or no precipitation is forecast for both coasts. 5-day average temperatures should be subnormal in the Intermountain West, Rockies, and Plains, and above-normal in the eastern third of the nation.