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 HOME > Expert Assessments > Drought Information > Seasonal Drought Outlook Summary
United States Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
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Latest Seasonal Assessment - With the gradual winding down of the wet season in the West, prospects for drought relief during the spring are low. Persistence and/or intensification of drought conditions is anticipated across the West, with drought development favored in western sections of both Washington and Oregon. In Arizona, Utah, and western portions of both Colorado and New Mexico, drought persistence/intensification is deemed most likely, as spring tends to be a relatively dry time of year, in advance of the summer Monsoon. For much of the southern Rockies and south-central Plains, drought improvement and/or removal is predicted, based on the latest precipitation outlooks from CPC for April and April-June, and on spring climatology. Persistence and/or intensification of drought is forecast for the core drought areas of the south-central Plains, however, which are currently experiencing extreme or exceptional drought conditions. These core drought areas will need significant amounts of rain to offset the long duration and severity of present drought conditions. In the Upper Midwest, the areal coverage of moderate drought has expanded in the past week, and a sizable region of drought development is anticipated around it. With a relatively dry antecedent autumn and winter, soils in the region have become very dry, and a lack of snowpack has likely contributed to the record warm temperatures that occurred during the last 1-2 weeks. The CPC monthly and seasonal precipitation outlooks favor the continuation of below-median precipitation across the Upper Midwest, which would lead to further expansion of drought. In contrast, the CPC precipitation outlooks anticipate enhanced odds of above-median precipitation across the lower Mississippi Valley and central Gulf Coast region, prompting a forecast for removal of drought in those areas. For the Florida Everglades, the climatological onset of the rainy season in late May warrants the removal of drought conditions. In Hawaii, though above-median rainfall is expected during April and AMJ by CPC, it will be difficult to get a one-category improvement. Therefore, areas of drought persistence and/or intensification and drought development are indicated.

Forecaster: A. Artusa

Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: April 16, 2015 at 8:30 AM EDT

Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion

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