A number of rain events moved across the country again this Drought Monitor week. While the West remained mostly dry, areas of the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast saw areas of much above normal precipitation.
The Southeast: Large areas of rain moved through the Southeast this week with some areas seeing rain almost every day. The most intense precipitation fell from September 22-24 and spread from Alabama and Georgia, across much of the Carolinas and into the Mid-Atlantic. This rain improved areas of Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) in northern Alabama, as well as widespread improvement in Abnormal Dryness (D0), Moderate Drought (D1), and to a lesser extend Severe Drought (D2) across the Carolinas. Southern Virginia saw an improvement in Moderate Drought (D1). Conditions continued to improve in Kentucky with this week’s rainfall reflected in reductions in Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1).
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Adequate rains fell this week the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. No changes were made in the drought status in this area.
The South: Oklahoma was the lucky recipient of multiple rain events this week, something that has not happened in quite a while. While these events did lead to minor improvement in Extreme Drought (D3) in eastern Oklahoma, the precipitation deficits remain large and the impacts wide-spread. No improvement was made in the rest of the state. This same series of storms also moved through Arkansas and southern Missouri. While it did improve short and long-term precipitation deficits some, impacts, especially to agriculture, are still extreme. Despite the rain, recent impact information led to the elimination of improvements made last week in this area. Conditions in Kansas degraded slightly in the central part of the state with a slight expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0), Moderate (D1) and Severe (D2) Drought. In Texas, mounting dryness in the south, around Brownsville and Beaumont, led to slight degradation of drought conditions. In Texas, 96% of the Pasture and Range land is considered to be in Poor or Very Poor condition, an slight change from last week’s 98%. In Oklahoma, the total is 90% (94% last week).
The Plains and Midwest: Conditions in the Northern Plains deteriorated some this week while in the Midwest, conditions improved slightly. Minnesota saw expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0) in the southern part of the state. Additional beneficial precipitation this week led to wide improvement in Abnormal Dryness (D0), Moderate (D1) and Severe (D2) Drought across Illinois and Indiana.