Bloomberg News

U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending June 12 (Text)

June 14, 2012

Following is the text of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor as released by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska:


The discussion in the Looking Ahead section is simply a
description of what the official national guidance from the
National Weather Service (NWS) National Centers for
Environmental Prediction is depicting for current areas of
dryness and drought. The NWS forecast products utilized include
the HPC 5-day QPF and 5-day Mean Temperature progs, the 6-10 Day
Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability, and the
8-14 Day Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability,
valid as of late Wednesday afternoon of the USDM release week.
The NWS forecast web page used for this section is:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/forecasts/.

Weather Summary:  A stalled frontal across the Gulf Coast and
series of Pacific storm systems produced unseasonably heavy
rains in the Southeast and Northwest while dry and warm weather
in the Nation’s midsection accelerated drought conditions from
Colorado to Indiana.   In the Northwest, more than 2 inches of
precipitation fell on the Cascades and northern Rockies as
temperatures averaged up to 10 degrees F below normal. In the
Southeast, a stalled front along the Gulf produced incredible
amounts of rain and severe localized flooding in extreme
southern sections of Mississippi and Alabama and the western
Florida Panhandle. There were several 24-hour totals of between
8 and 15 inches of rain, with up to 21.7 inches on June 9-10 in
extreme western Florida Panhandle as reported via CoCoRAHs - a
national cooperative precipitation network. The heavy rains
gradually crept north and eastward into southern Alabama,
Florida, most of Georgia, South Carolina, western North
Carolina, and southwestern Virginia. A cold front edging
eastward in the Nation’s midsection generated severe
thunderstorms in parts of the northern and central High Plains
(northern Colorado, southeast Wyoming, western Dakotas), as well
as a squall line that swept across Missouri and the Tennessee
and lower Mississippi Valleys. Southern Oklahoma and
northeastern Texas also received additional rains (2 to 4
inches) early in the week. Unfortunately, dry weather continued
in the Southwest, central Plains, and parts of the Midwest, with
only light amounts in the Northeast. Temperatures averaged
slightly below normal in the East and Southeast, well below
normal in the West, and above normal in the middle third of the
U.S., especially from northern New Mexico northeastward into
Minnesota. Dry weather also occurred in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and
northern Alaska, with unsettled weather across the rest of the
latter state.

The East:  After last week’s wet weather along the entire
Atlantic Seaboard (Florida to Maine), rainfall diminished from
North Carolina to Maine, but dramatically increased across
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, western North Carolina, and
southwestern Virginia. The combination of tropical Gulf moisture
and a stalled front with waves of low pressure along it produced
widespread showers and thunderstorms that dumped heavy to
copious amounts of rain along the central and eastern Gulf and
southern Atlantic Coasts, generating severe flash flooding. Up
to 21.7 inches of rain fell within 24-hours (ending 7am EDT June
10) in southern Escambia County, FL (extreme western Panhandle),
according to a CoCoRAHs cooperative observer, with other nearby
spotters reporting 13-15 inches. Around 10 inches fell a day
earlier in southern Mississippi (Mobile County), with yet
another 5 inches falling 2 days later (ending at 7am EDT June
11). In Florida, moderate to heavy rains soaked much of the
state during the week, with the greatest totals (4 to 10 inches)
falling on the state’s D2-D3 areas. Both Georgia and South
Carolina received decent rains early and late in the week, with
more than 4 inches falling on the southern and eastern third of
the state, and 2 to 4 inches elsewhere. Two to three inches was
also measured farther north into western North Carolina and
southwestern Virginia, drought-less areas that had been drying
out recently. And from eastern North Carolina northward to Maine
(areas that had seen a 1-category improvement last week), mostly
light rain (0.1 to 0.5 inches) fell, with some northern
Pennsylvania, southern New York, and New England locales
observing 0.5 to 1 inch. Conditions were kept status-quo here.

With increased rainfall since late April and early May along the
East, this week’s deluge in the southern Atlantic Coast States
continued to ease or erase any short, medium, and long term
deficits, and a general 1-category improvement was made to most
areas in southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, Alabama,
Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. A few D3 and D4 areas in
Alabama and Georgia still remained, however, as this week’s rain
were not large enough (generally 1 to 3 inches) to completely
erase the medium and long term deficits. Although nearly all 30-
day shortages were alleviated in Georgia, South Carolina, and
Florida, 60- and 90-day and longer shortages remained, including
the core D3-D4 areas of east-central Alabama and central
Georgia. At 12-months, less than 80 percent of normal
precipitation was observed from the Florida Panhandle
northeastward into South Carolina, with deficits of 12 to 20
inches. Not surprisingly, the Impact Type was changed to all L
(long-term) as the short-term impacts were negligible. The 7-day
average USGS stream flows ending June 12 showed a large rebound
in the volume, with most gauges in Florida, eastern Georgia, and
eastern South Carolina at or above normal levels, while the 1-
day (June 12) average flow was even better for all 3 states.

The Mid-South:  As previously mentioned in The East narrative,
central Gulf Coast locations (southern Louisiana, southern
Mississippi, southern Alabama) received copious amounts of rain
(more than 4 inches; locally 15-20 inches in southern Alabama),
alleviating most short- and medium-term deficiencies (out to 90-
and 180-days). An exception was in extreme northeastern
Louisiana and extreme southwestern Mississippi where rainfall
was lighter (less than 1.5 inches), and 90-day percent of normal
precipitation was between 50-70 percent, accumulating deficits
of 3 to 6 inches. In northern Alabama, a band of heavy rain (2
to 3.5 inches) was enough to cut the D0 area into two and remove
the D1 in Alabama as short- to medium-term deficiencies were
greatly reduced or eliminated. June 12 USGS stream flows
responded to the rains, with values well-above normal (more than
90th percentile) in these wet locations. Farther north and west,
conditions were not looking too favorable through Day 6 as
little or no rain had fallen on northern Louisiana, Arkansas,
Missouri, northern Mississippi, western Kentucky, and western
Tennessee, and conditions had deteriorated. Fortunately, a cold
front brought welcome rains on Day 7, some locally heavy, to
much of this region, keeping these states at status-quo. An
exception was in eastern Kentucky where less than 0.2 inches
fell, and D0 was expanded. Where heavier rains fell (2 to 4.5
inches), a slight improvement was made (northern Louisiana,
southern and southeastern Arkansas, northwestern Mississippi).
As of June 10 (before the rain fell), the USDA/NASS statewide
average topsoil moisture short or very short was at 57, 75, 87,
49, 39, and 31 percent in LA, AR, MO, KY, TN, and AL,
respectively, but should improve somewhat after the June 11-12
rains are added. Missouri corn and soybean conditions rated poor
or very poor as of June 10 were at 18 and 27 percent,
respectively. Pasture conditions rated poor or very poor were
the worst in Arkansas and Missouri (57 and 44 percent). June 12
stream flows were still way down, with many sites at near- to
record low levels in western Arkansas and southeastern Missouri
at 7-, 14-, and 28-days.

The Midwest:  Warmer weather pushed into the Midwest after last
week’s brief cool down as temperatures averaged near to slightly
above normal (0 to 3 degF) in the central and eastern Corn Belt
(Illinois, Indiana, Ohio), and above-normal in the western Corn
Belt and upper Midwest (3 to 7 degF). This came after near-
record May warmth as monthly temperatures averaged 5 to 6 degF
above normal in the Corn Belt. Highs reached into the upper 80s
in the east, and low 90s in the west. Rainfall was lacking
during the first 5 days of the week, but a cold front late in
the week finally triggered showers and thunderstorms across much
of the Midwest. Light to moderate amounts (0.5 to 1 inch) fell
on most of Minnesota, western Wisconsin, UP of Michigan, western
Iowa, most of Missouri, and southern Illinois, with locally
heavy rains (more than 2 inches) in extreme northwestern
Minnesota, UP of Michigan, southwestern Iowa, and southwestern
Missouri. Farther east, however, little or no rain fell on lower
Michigan, eastern Wisconsin, northern and eastern Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio, southeastern Iowa, and east-central Missouri.
Even with the end of week rainfall, widespread deterioration
occurred due to the continued subnormal precipitation, increased
temperatures, and high moisture demand for the emerging crops.
Accordingly, D0 was expanded to cover the rest of Illinois,
northwestern and most of central and southern Indiana, southern
Michigan, and northern Ohio as the past 30-days have only
brought 25-50 percent of normal rainfall and 2 to 6 inch
deficits. In addition, D1 was increased in southeastern Iowa and
northeastern Missouri, southeastern Missouri, central and
southern Illinois, northeastern and southwestern Indiana, and
northwestern Ohio where 60-day precipitation was 40-60 percent
of normal with shortages of 4 to 8 inches. D2 was slightly
widened in southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana as the
rains missed these areas. 90-day precipitation was less than 50
percent, and deficiencies were between 8 and 12 inches. Several
USGS sites in northern and central Indiana, central and southern
Illinois, and northwestern Ohio were at near- (less than tenth
percentile) or record low (less than two percentile) stream
flows at 1- and 7-days. According to USDA/NASS, statewide
topsoil moisture (June 10) rated short or very short stood at
78, 74, 66, 56, 56, and 40 percent in IL, IN, IA, WI, OH, and
MI.  Corn conditions rated poor or very poor increased from last
week to: 10, 15, 8, 5, 7, and 8 percent in IL, IN, IA, MI, OH,
and WI, respectively, while similar conditions for soybeans were
at 12, 16, 10, 8, 10, and 9 percent. 23 and  21 percent of
Indiana and Illinois pastures were rated poor or very poor.
Unfortunately, this region needs timely rains and seasonable
temperatures very soon in order to ensure that emerging corn and
soybean develop properly and halt further declines in their
condition.

The Plains:  Early in the week, scattered showers and
thunderstorms dropped decent rainfall (more than 2 inches) in
the north on southeastern Wyoming, western South Dakota, and
northeastern North Dakota, and in the south on southern
Oklahoma, central, northeastern, and southeastern Texas, and
Texas Panhandle (around Lubbock). After a dry April (Texas) and
May (Oklahoma and northern Texas), abnormal dryness and drought
had crept back into most of central Oklahoma and eastern Texas,
but recent rains have made this area drought-free again. In
southern Texas, however, another mostly dry week called for some
expansion of D2. The heavy rains in southeastern Wyoming,
northwestern Nebraska, southwestern South Dakota, and
northeastern North Dakota were enough to diminish D1 and erase
D0 there. In the central Plains, however, little or no rain,
unseasonable prolonged warmth (since March), windy weather, and
increased water demand by crops and pastures have rapidly
deteriorated conditions to where impacts are worse than what
would be expected. In Colorado, much of the state saw a 1-
category deterioration, with D3 expanding in the northwest, D2
in the southwest and central, and D1 across most of the east.
USGS stream flows in the west are in the lower fifth percentile,
and many station’s Standardized Precipitation Indices (SPI) are
less than -2 on the 6-month time scale. In Nebraska, little or
no rain in the eastern two-thirds of the state, coupled with
warm (temperature anomalies 4 to 8 degF), windy weather and
thirsty crops, pushed D0 and D1 northward from the Kansas-
Nebraska border. Similar to Nebraska, Kansas also saw little or
no rain except in the extreme northeastern portion (0.5 to 1.5
inches), and weekly temperatures averaged 3 to 5 degF above
normal. Much of the state has recorded under 25 percent of
normal precipitation the past 30 days, and less than 50 percent
during the past 60-days. In the driest areas, D1 and D2 were
added. According to USDA/NASS, statewide topsoil moisture short
or very short stood at 76, 75, and 71 percent in KS, NE, and CO,
respectively. In CO and KS, 28 and 24 percent of the winter
wheat was rated poor or very poor, while CO, WY, KS, and TX
pastures and ranges in poor or very poor conditions were at 55,
49, 41, and 38 percent. Similar to the Midwest, the central
Plains will need timely rains and seasonable temperatures very
soon to ensure adequate crop (corn, soy, sorghum, sunflowers)
and pasture and range growth.

The West:  This week saw unseasonably cool conditions (weekly
temperatures averaged 4 to 10 degF below normal) in the Far
West, and unsettled weather in the Northwest (1 to 3 inches
precipitation in western and northeastern Washington, western
and northeastern Oregon, northern and central Idaho, western
Montana, northwestern Wyoming). The spring showers in central
Washington and central Oregon (0.2 to 1 inch) continued to
nibble away at the D0 and D1 areas as Water Year-To-Date (YTD)
deficits slowly disappeared. Average basin precipitation since
Oct. 1 stood between 106-117 percent in central Washington, and
84-95 percent in southern Oregon. In southwestern Montana and
eastern Idaho, 0.5 to 1 inch of rain fell across the northern D0
area, enough to remove it, but less than 0.2 inches fell across
southern sections and it remained. In contrast, little or no
rain fell across the Southwest (their normal dry season).
Temperatures did average above-normal in eastern Arizona, New
Mexico, southeastern Utah, Colorado, and eastern Wyoming. The
combination of subnormal Water YTD precipitation (50-75 percent
of normal) and an early warm spring snow melt has left the area
parched and primed for wild fires. In southern New Mexico, 2
major wildfires continued burning (one near Ruidoso, the other
in the Gila National Forest), scorching over 316,000 acres,
destroying over 240 structures, and forcing the evacuation of at
least 1500 residents. In Colorado, the High Park wildfire near
Ft. Collins continued to grow. It has encompassed 43,433 acres,
caused 1 fatality, destroyed over 100 structures, and was 0
percent contained. In response to the dry and warm weather, some
slight deterioration was made in New Mexico, Colorado (see The
Plains write-up), and southwestern Wyoming (D2 added) where both
short and long term blends were at D4. Hopefully the southwest
monsoon season will begin soon as pasture and range conditions
(poor or very poor) in AZ and NM stood at 57 and 81 percent.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico:  Occasional widely-scattered
light showers (less than 0.25 inches) fell on the windward sides
of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island (now in their dry
season), but not enough to improve the drought. Meanwhile on the
leeward locations, little or no rain fell, and conditions
remained status-quo. In contrast, according to the Hawaii FSA,
the Kona Belt (coffee belt region) on the Big Island
(southwestern side) has greened up with increased shower
activity, but conditions below 500 feet are very dry while above
2000 feet the vegetation also starts to dry out. As a result, a
small improvement band of D0 was added along the Kona slopes of
the Big Island. There was no drought in Alaska or Puerto Rico.

Looking Ahead:  During the next 5 days (June 14-18), a mostly
tranquil weather pattern will envelope the lower 48 States, with
storm systems tracking along the U.S.-Canada border and across
Canada. In the upper Midwest, western Corn Belt, and northern
Plains, however, stalled frontal systems are forecast to drop
moderate to heavy rains (1 to 3 inches) on most of Nebraska,
Iowa, eastern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. Scattered light
showers may fall along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts,
including Florida, and in northern New England. Most of the
West, Southwest, Southeast, and East will be dry. Temperatures
should average above-normal from northern California into the
central Rockies and Plains and northeastward into the Great
Lakes region. Subnormal readings are expected in the Northwest,
southern California, and along the East Coast.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 19-23 calls for increased
odds of above-normal precipitation in the Great Lakes region,
Florida, and eastern Alaska, while the best chances for
subnormal rainfall was over the southern Plains and western
Alaska. The remainder of the lower 48 States had no
precipitation tilt either way.  Above-normal temperatures are
expected in the northeastern quarter of the Nation and eastern
Alaska. Subnormal readings should be limited to the West Coast
and northern tier of States, from Washington to North Dakota,
and in western Alaska.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Rose in Washington at srose31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net


Silicon Valley State of Mind
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

(enter your email)
(enter up to 5 email addresses, separated by commas)

Max 250 characters

 
blog comments powered by Disqus