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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 - Since the previous outlook issued during mid-March, drought coverage and intensity remained nearly steady across the West with more than two-thirds of California designated with extreme to exceptional drought. Drought intensified during the past month across the central and southern Great Plains, while the Midwest experienced drought reduction. Most of the eastern U.S. remains drought-free.

The drought outlook valid from April 17 to July 31, 2014 is based primarily on initial conditions, short-, medium-, and long-range forecasts, and climatology. Persistence or intensification is likely for the ongoing drought areas of the Pacific Northwest, California, and Great Basin as those areas enter an increasingly dry time of year. Also, the CPC seasonal outlook calls for enhanced odds for above-normal temperatures across the West. Persistence is forecast for much of the Southwest, although improvement/removal is forecast for western New Mexico as the CPC May-June-July outlook calls for increased chances of above-median precipitation. Improvement is not expected to occur until July with the onset of monsoon rainfall. Improvement and removal of drought across the central/southern Great Plains and Midwest is based on expected rainfall during the remainder of April and a relatively wet time of year as the convective season peaks. However, persistence is most likely for the protracted drought areas of the high Plains.

Although drought is not expected to develop through the end of July along and east of the Mississippi River, summer heat coupled with insufficient rainfall over a multi-week period can result in rapid drought development during the summer.

Forecaster: B. Pugh

Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: May 15, 2014 at 8:30 AM EDT

Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion

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Page last modified: April 17, 2014
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