Locally heavy rain provided drought relief to the south-central U.S., while a late-season Pacific storm brought beneficial precipitation to much of the west. Unseasonable warmth led to unseasonably high evapotranspiration rates and crop water demands across the Midwest and northern Plains.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Mostly dry, warm weather prevailed, with shower activity confined to northern-most portions of the region. In southern New England, Moderate Drought (D1) was introduced to account for 90-day precipitation deficits of 4 to locally more than 6 inches (less than 50 percent of normal). Streamflows and well-water levels have likewise declined, and are in the lowest 2nd and 5th, respectively, in this region. Abnormal Dryness (D0) was introduced from southern New York into much of Maryland and Virginia, with 60-day rainfall averaging less than 60 percent of normal (deficits of 3 to 5 inches). Streamflows have dropped below the 10th percentile in east-central Pennsylvania and much of New Jersey, and have slipped below the 30th percentile across Maryland, Virginia, and eastern West Virginia. A small section of southern Virginia was left out of the new D0, where a pair of late-season snow storms contributed to near- to above-normal precipitation over the past 60 days.
Southeast: Drier- and warmer-than-normal weather prevailed, with only isolated showers reported. Precipitation was hit and miss, and tallied less than 0.5 inch across the region’s primary drought areas. Moderate Drought (D1) was expanded in western North Carolina and adjacent portions of South Carolina, with 60-day precipitation deficits averaging 3 to 5 inches (less than 50 percent of normal). Streamflows across most of the Carolina drought region were in the lowest 10th percentile, with many locales reporting values in the lowest 5th percentile. In northern Georgia and east-central Alabama, 60-day rainfall has tallied 2 to 5 inches below seasonal norms (50-70 percent of normal), which coupled with above-normal temperatures (10-15°F above normal) led to an increase in drought designation. Streamflows in southeastern Alabama are near historic lows, and have dropped to the lowest 20th percentile in the newly expanded Abnormally Dry (D0) areas of northern Georgia. The ongoing dryness has also been accompanied by daytime highs approaching 90°F, which has increased water demands for crops and pastures. Likewise, long-term drought is evidenced by record- or near-record low ground water levels across much of southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama. In addition, both the 9 and 12-month Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) indicated ongoing Exceptional Drought (D4) from east-central Georgia into southeastern Alabama. In Florida, dry, warm conditions prevailed, with only isolated 1-inch rainfall totals reported in the central Panhandle and along the far southeastern coast. Severe Drought (D2) was expanded across the northwestern shores of Lake Okeechobee, where 90-day precipitation deficits averaged 4 to 6 inches. D2 was also expanded northward from Tampa northward toward Ocala, with 3-month rainfall in these locales more than 6 inches shy of normal (less than 50 percent of normal). In addition, Severe Drought was introduced to the southwestern peninsula, where 90-day rainfall has averaged 25 to 50 percent of normal.