Bloomberg News

U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Sept. 4 (Text)

September 07, 2012

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

The Northeast: Some scattered rain events through the region did
allow for some improvements to the D0 in southern New York.  The
recent wet pattern has allowed for most all the impacts in
Massachusetts to subside, with only lingering low streamflows in
the area.  In response to the improvements, D1 was removed and
the impact label was changed to “L” to account for the long-term
issues.  Some late rains in the region may provide enough
moisture to show future improvements.

Mid-Atlantic: As with the areas to the north, the Mid-Atlantic
states have been in an overall wet pattern over the last few
weeks, which has helped to ease drought concerns.  Improvements
were made in Virginia to the D1 while the D0 areas in Virginia
and Maryland were reduced.  The impact label was changed to an
“L” because the main impacts to the region are long-term and
most of the short-term issues have improved.

Southeast:  Some of the outer rain bands from Hurricane Isaac
brought additional rains to the region.  Accounting for the most
recent rains led to improvements in D3/D2 along the Georgia and
South Carolina borders.  The D0 conditions along the South
Carolina coast were also improved while some D0 in North
Carolina was also improved.  In Alabama, minimal improvements
were made to the D0/D1 along the northwest and southeast drought
areas. Groundwater and soil moisture in this area have had a
very slow response to recent rains, so further improvements were
not warranted.

South: Hurricane Isaac made landfall and pushed inland to the
north/northwest as a very slow-moving subtropical storm system.
With the slow-moving nature and direction of movement associated
with Isaac, many areas in Louisiana, Arkansas and the Midwest
recorded precipitation that approached 10+ inches in places.
Many areas in Arkansas and Louisiana saw a 2 class improvement
in their U.S. Drought Monitor status this week in response to
the rains.  Most all the short-term indicators were improved and
the area was labeled with an “L” for the lingering long-term
issues.  The full impact of this event will take time to analyze
and consider.

Midwest: With the remnants of Isaac moving slowly through the
region, many areas of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana recorded
rainfall in the 2-6 inch range.  Some areas received more and
some less, so the improvements made in these areas were based
upon the totals (and in Illinois, totals over the last several
weeks).  Many areas of Missouri and Illinois did see a 2-
category improvement this week and widespread areas of 1-
category improvements were evident in Indiana and Ohio.  The
improvements were based upon how well soil moisture levels
responded throughout the area that received the most rain and
also the favorable response of the river and streamflows, which
were running at near record lows.  The response to the storm is
interesting in that for some areas, a very tight gradient of
precipitation has been observed which led to rapid changes in
drought status over a short distance.

The region did see some degradation this week as portions of
northwest Iowa did go into D4 status and D3 was extended into
Minnesota out of Iowa.  Areas of central Minnesota that were
very wet a few months ago have dried out, and D0 was introduced
around the Twin Cities this week.  Most of central and northern
Wisconsin saw full category degradation this week as the last
several months have been dry and hot in this area.

The Plains: The region continues to miss out on the rains, and
the return of temperatures in the 100 degree Fahrenheit range
allowed for further degradation this week.  In North Dakota, D1
was expanded into the northwest and southeast while D2 expanded
in the east.  For South Dakota, a large expansion of D3 over
most of the central portion of the state took place while D4 was
introduced into the southeast portion of the state.  The
northwest portion of the state had D2 expansion while the
northeast had D1 expansion there as well.  In Nebraska, the D4
areas expanded to include most of the western half of the state
and most of the northeast.  Kanas saw D4 expand in the northwest
part of the state while the eastern portion of the state saw
great improvements in those areas that received rainfall
associated with Isaac.  Oklahoma saw D4 expand in the panhandle
while Texas had general degradation in the south and panhandle
regions.

The West: A mix of improvements and degradation this week.  In
Wyoming, a large degradation as D3/D4 pushed west out of
Nebraska and into the eastern portions of the state.  Western
Wyoming saw D2/D3 conditions expand as well as D2 in the north
central.  For Montana, much of the southern portions of the
state were put into D2 this week while D1 pushed into the north
central portions of Montana. A new area of D3 was introduced in
central Montana while D3 also was extended out of Wyoming into
the southern portion of the state. In Colorado, some recent
rains have allowed for D3 to be improved in the central portion
of the state while in the 4 Corners region, D3 was also
improved.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: On the Hawaiian island of Kauai,
the D1/D2 conditions were expanded. Local FSA reports note that
pastures continue to fail in this region as the lower elevation
rainfall for August was lacking.  No changes for Alaska or
Puerto Rico this week.

Looking Ahead: Over the next five days (September 4-9) the
Plains and Midwest states are forecasted to have temperatures
below normal, which may extend into the southeastern United
States.  Temperatures look to be 3-6 degrees Fahrenheit above
normal in the Pacific Northwest and into the Great Basin.  A
fairly active weather pattern looks to bring a widespread chance
of rain over the central Plains through the Midwest and up into
New England.  The greatest precipitation amounts are expected
over the area from Kansas and Oklahoma to western Kentucky,
where more than 1.50 inches of rain has been projected.

The CPC 6-10 day forecast (September 10-14) has temperatures
below normal over the Southeast and west coast as well as for
much of western Alaska.  Temperatures can be expected to be
above normal for much of the central and northern Plains, the
Great Basin and Rocky Mountains.  Much of the country should
expect below-normal precipitation, with the desert southwest and
portions of Florida being the only areas showing above-normal
chances of precipitation.

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


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