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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 - From mid-March to mid-April 2015, conditions improved in the southern High Plains, southern Texas, and parts of the lower half of the Mississippi Valley and central Gulf Coast region. However, dryness and drought expanded and/or intensified across the central Rockies and eastern Great Basin, the central and northern Plains, and parts of both the Northeast and Southeast. From the Ohio and lower Mississippi Rivers eastward, it was primarily abnormal dryness that expanded, with drought limited to part of the Gulf Coast and southern Florida. With above-normal rainfall expected on most time scales, these areas should be removed from the Drought Monitor before the end of July. Farther north, drought is expected to persist from the northern Plains through the Great Lakes region, with some expansion anticipated in much of Michigan and portions of Wisconsin and Illinois. Odds favor subnormal May-July precipitation there, and climatologically soil moisture content declines more often than it increases. In the northern Plains, drought may actually expand in the next few weeks, but retrenchment becomes increasingly possible as summer progresses, thus no net expansion is anticipated by the end of July, though it is expected to continue where it currently exists. Off to the south and west, above-normal May-July precipitation is favored across broad sections of the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Plains for the 3-month period. Significant areas of improvement or removal are anticipated, but for a variety of reasons, some areas should see drought persist or perhaps intensify; specifically, south-central Nebraska and eastern Kansas (where enhanced wetness is not favored for the period as a whole), part of western Oklahoma and adjacent Texas (where drought is more intense and entrenched than in surrounding areas), and much of the southern half of the Rockies (where long-term hydrologic impacts reduce the chances for improvement). Across the West Coast states, especially California and western Nevada, drought areas have become entrenched over the course of the past one to several years, and with the warm and drier time of year approaching, there is little if any chance for improvement. Extant areas of drought in Hawaii should persist as the drier time of year (in most areas) progresses, except in eastern Kauai, where removal is anticipated. Some expansion is possible into northwestern sections of the Big Island.

Forecaster: R. Tinker

Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: May 21, 2015 at 8:30 AM EDT

Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion


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