Latest Seasonal Assessment -
Much needed precipitation brought limited drought relief to parts of the Northwest, the Great Basin, and the northern Intermountain West, but drought continued to expand
and intensify across parts of California, the desert Southwest and the southern Rockies. Outside of spotty precipitation over southern and western Texas, drought also
expanded across much of the central and southern Plains, and short term drought developed along the western Gulf Coast. Widespread precipitation brought drought relief
to the eastern U.S.
Drought persistence and expansion are anticipated for California, the Southwest, and the southern Plains due to dry initial conditions heading into the climatologically
drier Spring season. CPC 1-Month and 3-Month outlooks tilt the odds towards below-median precipitation over parts of the Southwest and California as well. In contrast,
short range forecasts for heavy precipitation increase prospects for additional drought relief across the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies, although anticipated
warmer than normal temperatures may limit effective snowpack building for late spring water resources. Drought improvement or removal is forecast for the central Plains
and the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, where climatological precipitation increases substantially during April and May. While locally heavy precipitation is
forecast in the short term for parts of the central and western Gulf Coast, which would ease short term drought conditions, the CPC seasonal outlook indicates enhanced
chances of below-median rainfall. With 90-day precipitation totals generally below 75 percent of normal, it is possible for short term drought reductions to be offset by
redevelopment later in the Spring.
Short range forecasts for enhanced precipitation over Hawaii favor additional drought reduction and a deeper than average snowpack over eastern Alaska increases the odds
for drought removal.
Forecaster: A. Allgood
Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: March 20, 2014 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion