The edges of the U.S. last week saw most of the rain as more than two inches was noted in the Southern Atlantic Coastal region but precipitation was limited in the Heartland, the latest Drought Monitor maps show.
Despite some rain, dryness continues to increase in the Northeast and small areas of one-category degradation have appeared, says this week's author, Anthony Artusa of NOAA.
An expansion of moderate drought was rendered to the drought depiction in extreme western North Carolina, based on rainfall deficits.
In Georgia and Alabama, lots of small alterations (both improvements and deteriorations) were made to the depiction. Lots of small modifications were also made across Florida, with deterioration mainly across the Panhandle region.
In Kentucky, soybeans need rainfall. Though corn and tobacco are pretty much done for this growing season, and stream flows are close to normal, concern remains for the soybean crop and adequate soil moisture.
A strip of abnormal dryness was added to the depiction extending from central to southwestern Kentucky this week to highlight the dryness.
In northeastern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa, recent 1-3 inch rains resulted in either a one-category upgrade, or a reduction in size of a particular drought category.
The moderate drought area in southwestern Wisconsin was retained north of the Wisconsin River, due to persistent deficits of 3-6 inches since June 1.
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The continuing lack of precipitation and declining stream flows across much of Louisiana and southern Arkansas prompted one-category deteriorations in the drought depiction this week.
This Southern region seems ripe for additional degradation next week, assuming dry conditions persist, Artusa says.
On the Central and Northern Plains, slight adjustments were made to the D0 depiction in eastern and central Montana this week, based on recent rainfall. In Nebraska, three relatively small areas of abnormal dryness appeared, based on increasing dryness.
In the Panhandle, September is typically the time to plant hard red winter wheat. Warm, dry conditions are a concern in getting crop sown with good seed bed moisture and established with ample time for optimal root development prior to hardening off before the arrival of winter.
In south-central Nebraska, there were reports of dryland corn and beans rapidly deteriorating. Abnormal dryness was also added to extreme southeastern Nebraska.
In northwestern, north-central, and central Kansas, D0 coverage was expanded.
Lots of relatively small-scale adjustments were made to the drought depiction in Texas and Oklahoma this week, primarily deterioration. An area of extreme drought was added to east-central Texas. Along the border with southeastern Oklahoma, severe drought was expanded.
A continuing lack of precipitation across western Montana prompted a slight eastward shift of all drought categories. In north-central Colorado less than a quarter-inch of rain fell this week. This was a hot, dry period with high evaporative demand, prompting the introduction of a small area of abnormal dryness to the drought depiction.
Western Washington received anywhere from 1-5 inches of precipitation during the past seven days, and streams have responded accordingly. Extreme drought was removed from the Olympic Peninsula, and was reduced on the windward slopes of the northern and central Cascades.
No alterations were made to the drought depiction this week in the Southwest and California – conditions will be reassessed next week, Artusa says.
Source: Anthony Artusa, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC; The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a 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.