During the past week, large precipitation events affected the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, southern Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley, Tennessee River Valley, and mid-Atlantic, alleviating drought conditions or preventing further degradations in these areas. An active storm track in the coming week is expected to bring additional precipitation in the central and southern United States, which may result in further drought reductions. Conditions degraded in some areas of the Desert Southwest and Intermountain West that missed out on the heavier precipitation, most notably the Sierra Nevada and the Four Corners.
An active stormy pattern looks to continue in the central and eastern United States as we progress into next week. As a front continues to settle over the central, south-central, and eastern United States, expect moderate to heavy precipitation to continue in these areas late this week. A new storm system this weekend may deliver some rain and snow to parts of the central Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, and mid-South. Mainly dry conditions are forecasted to persist in Florida, the Carolinas, and most of the low elevation areas of Nevada and California. Some precipitation approaching an inch is possible in the Sierra Nevada. Generally, temperatures in the western United States should fall below normal, while temperatures in the eastern United States will likely be warmer than normal. More variable temperatures are anticipated in the central United States.
With a warm and moist air mass in place ahead of multiple storm systems affecting the region between Friday and Tuesday morning, heavy precipitation fell over much of the Midwest region, particularly in Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. Heavy precipitation persisted beyond the Tuesday morning cutoff along and behind a slow-moving cold front; any precipitation after the Tuesday morning cutoff will be accounted for in next week’s USDM. One-category improvements were made in parts central Illinois because of recent rains and low evaporative demand. Slight reductions in severe and extreme drought were made in south-central Missouri and north-central Arkansas, as streamflow and 90-day rainfall deficits no longer supported severe and extreme drought in the respective improvement areas. Elsewhere in Missouri and Arkansas, seasonal-scale precipitation indicators did not yet support improvements. Because of dry conditions between one and four months in west-central Minnesota, abnormal dryness was expanded there.