Skip Navigation Links 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center

   U.S. Monthly Temp.
      & Prec.

   U.S. Seasonal Temp.
     & Prec.


Monitoring and Data
   GIS Data
   U.S. Weekly Drought       Monitor
   Soil Moisture

About Us
   Our Mission
   Who We Are

Contact Us
   CPC Information
   CPC Web Team

 HOME > Expert Assessments > Drought Information > Monthly Drought Outlook
United States Monthly Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
(Click on image to enlarge)
PDF Version of Monthly Drought Outlook Graphic Adobe PDF Reader

Latest Monthly Assessment - During the past 9 days (since the SDO release on Aug. 21), a highly-amplified pattern produced warm and dry weather across the Far West, unseasonably cool conditions in the Intermountain West and Rockies with excessive precipitation in northern sections (central Montana measured 5-9 inches) and little or no rainfall in the south, oppressive heat in the Midwest and southern half of the Plains with ample rains in the Midwest and more widely-scattered precipitation in the Plains, and near to below-normal readings and minimal rainfall in the eastern quarter of the Nation. Another week of heavy rain fell on parts of Puerto Rico due in part to developing Tropical Storm Cristoval, while mostly light windward showers fell across Hawaii. During the past 30 days, drought relief (according to the U.S. Drought Monitor) had occurred in parts of the Southwest (especially AZ and NM) mostly due to a robust summer monsoon, in the northern and central Plains, Tennessee Valley, and most of the mid-Atlantic and Carolinas. In contrast, subnormal rainfall and occasional heat has developed or expanded abnormal dryness and drought in the Southeast, the southern Plains, and parts of the Great Lakes region. By the end of August, showers and thunderstorms enveloped most of the western and central Gulf northward into the Great Lakes region, with widely-scattered showers in the northern Rockies and Plains. Mostly dry weather prevailed in the West and Southwest, and along the East Coast. Above-normal readings covered most of the country east of the Rockies.

During September, drought persistence is strongly favored in the Far West as September is normally dry and warm, especially in California, with some possible development in the Northwest where current D0 areas exist due to growing short-term deficits and favorable odds for subnormal precipitation and above-normal temperatures. In the Southwest, although a brief lull in the summer monsoon is forecast early in the period, activity is gradually expected to increase, especially in Arizona and western New Mexico. Unfortunately, the model forecasts show mixed signals to the east, hence the persistence in eastern New Mexico and eastward into northern Texas and central Oklahoma. With the monsoonal moisture expected to move northeastward, it should interact with frontal activity moving southward from Canada, hence the improvement in the central Plains. In southern Texas, short-term and monthly forecasts favor enhanced rainfall, and with September normally one of the wettest months, significant rains could provide some improvement. Across parts of Southeast (southern Georgia, central Alabama, northern Florida), short-term drought from 90-day deficits accumulating to 6-10 inches and occasional heat have some potential for improvement based upon moderate 7-day totals, weeks 1 and 2 odds tilting toward above-median rainfall, and possible tropical system rains during the normal peak of the Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season (Sep. 10); however, recent rainfall forecasts have overdone the amounts, and with good odds for well-above normal temperatures, a lackadaisical 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, and conflicting model forecasts do not favor either improvement or development - hence status-quo. Favorable rainfall forecasts during the first half of September should be enough for improvement in the Tennessee Valley (western Kentucky). In Hawaii, seasonal dryness favors drought persistence over Molokai, while the expected continuation of suppressed convection during the peak Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season favors expanding drought across eastern Puerto Rico, although favorably-placed storms Bertha and Cristoval have provided recent relief, mainly to western locations.

Forecaster: D. Miskus

Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: September 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT

Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion

NOAA/ National Weather Service
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
5830 University Research Court
College Park, Maryland 20740
Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Page last modified: August 31, 2014
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities