Latest Monthly Assessment -
Drought continued to intensify across the central and southern high Plains along with the Southwest during March, while recent precipitation resulted in drought improvement across eastern Oklahoma, parts of Texas, the northern Great Plains, and middle Mississippi Valley. Multiple storms during March increased snowpack across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, although long-term drought persists across the southern third of California.
The monthly drought outlook valid for April 2018 is based on initial conditions including recent precipitation, 7-day precipitation forecasts, extended range (6-10/8-14 day) precipitation and temperature outlooks, the CPC April precipitation and temperature outlooks, and climatology.
Long-term drought is likely to persist across southern California and the Southwest as the climatology becomes drier during April, while a wet pattern through at least the early part of April favors drought removal across Oregon along with northern parts of Utah and Colorado. Persistence is likely across the extreme to exceptional drought areas of the central and southern high Plains since precipitation tools generally indicate a continued dry signal. Drought improvement across the Great Plains is expected to be limited to eastern Kansas, parts of Texas, and South Dakota.
Drought removal across the eastern U.S. is most likely for parts of the mid-Atlantic, Alabama, and central to southern Georgia. Persistence of drought is forecast across southeast Georgia and South Carolina, while a slight expansion of drought is expected across south Florida during early to mid-April.
Drought is expected to persist across the Alaska Panhandle during the next month. Hawaii and Puerto Rico are likely to remain drought-free through the end of April.
Forecaster: Brad Pugh
Next Monthly Outlook issued: April 30, 2018 at 3pm EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion