Latest Monthly Assessment -
During the previous two weeks, a highly amplified pattern promoted hot, dry weather across the West, exacerbating dry season drought conditions, while near to below normal temperatures generally prevailed across the remainder of the contiguous United States, except across northern New England. At the end of July, a combination of monsoonal moisture and upslope flow associated with a frontal boundary brought widespread heavy rainfall to New Mexico, Colorado, north Texas, Oklahoma, and southern Kansas. While the rains were much needed across areas that have experienced multi-year drought, rapid accumulations of 3 to 5 inches caused localized flooding in some locations. Across the remainder of the Plains, below normal rainfall and alternating periods of hot and mild temperatures promoted expanding dryness across parts of South Dakota and Nebraska, while hit or miss thunderstorm activity promoted areas of both drought degradation and improvement over Texas. Further east, increasing rainfall deficits promoted drought development across western Kentucky and far northern Tennessee, while moderate drought was introduced to small portions of the Southeast where thunderstorm activity was sparse. During August, drought development is favored across parts of Georgia and Alabama due to incipient dryness and a potential for continued below normal rainfall. August is a critical month for cotton, peanut, and corn crops in the region. A potential continuation of displaced frontal boundaries well into the southern U.S. during August complicates this forecast, as the fronts can provide focus for areas of heavy rainfall. Drought development is also likely across southern Texas due to below normal short and medium range precipitation forecasts. A continued wet pattern across New Mexico, northern Texas, Oklahoma, and much of Kansas is anticipated to yield further drought reductions, while prospects for drought relief are more uncertain farther north. Drought persistence is favored across the West, where hot, dry conditions are expected to continue, and a potential for reduced activity over the western monsoon region for roughly the first half of the month increases the chances for drought persistence across Arizona and Utah. In Hawaii, seasonal dryness favors drought persistence over Molokai, although there is a potential for tropical cyclone activity near Hawaii early in the month. A continuation of suppressed convection favors expanding drought across eastern Puerto Rico.
Forecaster: A. Allgood
Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: August 31, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion