Latest Monthly Assessment -
The Monthly Drought Outlook (MDO) for August is based on precipitation and temperature forecasts out to a month in advance, soil moisture outlooks valid for the next two weeks, recently observed drought indicators, August climatology, and based upon the July 24 U.S. Drought Monitor drought areas (D1 or drier). Drought is favored to improve across most of the Northeast (except along coastal Maine) based upon recent 1.5-4 inches of rain and a wet forecast out to Week2. The Southeast is currently drought-free and is expected to remain that way with the precipitation outlooks favoring above-median totals at all time scales. In the Midwest, 1.5-3 inches of rain during late July and the expectation of above-median ERF rainfall promotes drought amelioration in northern Michigan; however, lower late July totals and additional tools forecasting sub-median amounts in southeastern Michigan favors persistence. In Missouri, persistence was left as there was no clear consensus among the various tools. The 7-day QPF rainfall forecast calls for 1-2 inches (and locally greater amounts) across a good portion of the upper Mississippi Valley during the first week in August which should offset any development during the remainder of the month. In the South, most drought areas in Texas are expected to persist, with drought development possible across much of the remainder of the state. Possible short-term improvements from moderate to heavy rains during late July in southern Kansas, most of Oklahoma, southwest Missouri, Arkansas, and northern Louisiana may be offset with expected sub-median precipitation during the first half of August, although late August forecasts hint at a return to wetter weather. To the north, although the recent weather pattern has been wet, the High Plains region is expected to receive sub-median amounts that should favor drought persistence in the region. For the northern half of the West, drought persistence is generally expected, based largely on CPC and WPC forecasts and regional climatology, although northern Montana may see some expansion of D1 while the Olympic Peninsula could see drought removal with good odds for above-median rainfall in Weeks 1 and 2 (ERFs). With a wet climatology and a fairly robust monsoon season expected to continue, the Southwest is predicted to see some drought improvement, albeit scattered in nature, based on WPC's 7-day QPF and all of CPC's rainfall outlooks. In addition, tropical cyclone activity has ramped up over the eastern Pacific Ocean, and there is a decent chance for some of the associated moisture to make its way into the American Southwest. Elsewhere, drought persistence is expected on Hawaii's leeward sides and in the extreme southern section of Alaska's southeastern Panhandle, while drought development is anticipated in southern Puerto Rico's current D0 area due to an anticipated quiet Atlantic tropics during August.
Forecasters: David Miskus and Yun Fan
Next Monthly Outlook issued: August 31, 2018 at 3pm EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion