With limited rainfall noted across the East Coast and South, relatively few changes were noted on this week's Drought Monitor, author Richard Tinker of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The largest areas of drought degradation were situated in western Kentucky and Tennessee and in northern California.
In California, light to moderate precipitation was noted in the southern parts of the state and along the southwest coastline. Benefits from last month's storms continue to be felt in west-central California, prompting a small improvement to D2.
Little precipitation of significance fell in the Pacific Northwest last week, but some adjustments were made based on a re-assessment of information, Tinker said.
D0 conditions were expanded to cover the Oregon Cascades, and the ridge line and eastern slopes of the Cascades in central and southern Washington. In contrast, D1 was retracted from the southwest Oregon coastal region, and reports of lessening impacts led to improvements in the D0 to D2 conditions across central and eastern Washington and adjacent Idaho.
From central sections of Idaho and Nevada eastward across the Four Corners states and small portions of southern Wyoming and southwestern Montana, no changes were made to the analysis, the Drought Monitor said.
In the Central and Southern Plains, moderate to locally heavy precipitation prompted patchy improvement across southern and eastern Texas, but it was a cold and dry week elsewhere, Tinker said.
Some D4 expansion was noted in northern Texas. Precipitation since October 2014 has totaled less than 75% of normal across much of the Panhandle.
Along the Central Gulf Coast, little or no precipitation, in concert with a colder than normal week, left conditions essentially unchanged. Moderate drought was expanded slightly westward in southern Louisiana to encompass areas where 6-month deficits exceed 6 inches.
From central Arkansas northeastward through central Kentucky, most locations recorded between one-quarter of an inch and three-quarters of an inch of precipitation. Abnormal dryness was expanded northeastward in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Moderate precipitation brought an end to D0 along the Atlantic Seaboard in eastern North Carolina, part of southeastern Virginia, and small areas in northeastern South Carolina and near the Georgia/South Carolina border, but other extant areas of dryness persisted.
In south Florida, below-normal precipitation has prevailed for the past several months, thus abnormal dryness was introduced in the southernmost reaches of the state.
Source: Richard Tinker - The U.S. Drought Monitor/The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.