Though Hurricane Sandy’s destructive force devastated parts of the East coast, some states in her path were also helped by her soaking rain as it quenched the prolonged drought.
Last week’s Drought Monitor report showed 44 percent of Delaware in severe drought, but thanks to the 6 to 10 inches of rainfall mainly attributed to Sandy, drought has completely been eliminated from the state.
The story is also similar in Ohio, where Sandy’s bands of rain and snow dropped between 1 to 5 inches of precipitation. The welcomed moisture eliminated drought conditions in 67 percent of the state, compared to 36 percent last week. Early in September just 7 percent of Ohio was considered drought-free.
Currently 60 percent of the contiguous United States is in moderate or worse drought.
Hurricane Sandy has now faded to the north, leaving areas in the central parts of the country high and dry. With rain primarily focused around the West and East coasts, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota remain the driest in the nation.
Nearly 100 percent of Kansas is in severe or worse drought, unchanged from last week. With no rain in the near future, there’s little chance that this percentage will be changed for next week’s report. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that most of the state needs between 6 to 12 inches of rain to alleviate the drought conditions.
|Nebraska’s situation is the worst of any state in the nation. Nine-five percent of the state is in extreme to exceptional drought, the highest levels reported by the Drought Monitor. Nebraska has reported intense drought conditions since late July. Most of the state needs 9 to 12 inches of rain to make up for this year’s precipitation deficit.
|Southern South Dakota is affected by exceptional drought, making up 33 percent of the state. All of the state is experiencing some level of drought, with more than half of South Dakota in extreme to worse drought. Like Kansas and Nebraska, the levels are unchanged after a week with little rain or snow. The state needs between 3 to 9 inches of moisture to stop the drought.|
Unfortunately, the Climate Prediction Center’s Seasonal Drought Outlook again has no good news for these states. Though the Outlook shows improvement for North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, southeastern Missouri and central Arkansas, the drought is expected to persist in the West and on the Plains through the end of January.