Latest Monthly Assessment -
The March drought outlook is based on initial conditions, the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) 7-day precipitation forecast, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10/8-14 day precipitation outlooks, and the CPC monthly precipitation outlook. During the near term, a powerful storm system over the northeastern Pacific is forecast to move ashore over California and weaken over the southern Rockies, bringing widespread heavy precipitation to the coast, Sierra Nevadas, Cascades, and Rockies. The much needed precipitation is anticipated to relieve ongoing drought conditions across parts of the West, especially across parts of coastal California and Oregon, Washington, the northern Rockies, and parts of the Southwest. The efficacy of this storm system, though unusually intense, to bring substantial drought relief to most of the Southwest is highly uncertain, due to short duration, extremely dry initial conditions, and extended range and monthly forecasts tilting the odds towards above-median temperatures, which would promote rapid snowmelt. Drought persistence is forecast over the Plains, with additional development possible across parts of western and southern Texas, while widespread short term precipitation is anticipated to continue recent amelioration of drought across eastern Texas, Louisiana, and the middle Mississippi Valley. Intrusions of bitterly cold and dry air masses over the upper Midwest favor little change in soil conditions across the remainder of the Midwest, where ground and streams remain frozen. Periods of beneficial rainfall favor continued drought improvement over Hawaii.
Forecaster: A. Allgood
Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: March 31, 2014 at 3:00 PM EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion