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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 seasonal outlook release on June 18, drought improvement occurred across the Northeast, Great Plains, and Four Corners region. Drought expanded across the Southeast, while record heat and dry weather led to rapid intensification of drought across the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, and Montana. Drought recently developed across parts of Alaska after a relatively dry, warm spring and early summer, and drought continued across the eastern half of Puerto Rico.

The drought outlook valid from July 16, 2015 through the end of October 2015 is based primarily on initial conditions, the CPC August-September-October (ASO) precipitation outlook, climatology, and El Niño composites. Although drought improvement is expected across parts of the Southwest due to increased chances of enhanced monsoon rainfall, long-term hydrological drought is likely to continue. Since ASO is a dry time of year, persistence is likely for most of California. Persistence and intensification of drought (due to increased chances of above-normal temperatures this summer) is expected across the Pacific Northwest eastward to Montana. Due to the recent heat and dryness, central Montana is primed for additional drought expansion.

Much of the central and eastern U.S. is drought-free and chances for drought development across the central/eastern Corn Belt are low due to a wet start to the summer. Elimination of the residual drought areas across northwest Kansas, Long Island, and New England is expected during the outlook period. A relatively wet time of year favors drought improvement/removal across southern Florida and the Southeast coastal Plain, while prospects for drought amelioration diminish across more inland areas of the Southeast.

Drought is expected to persist across interior Alaska, while chances for drought removal are higher closer to the coast of south-central Alaska and the Alaska Panhandle. The small areas of moderate drought are expected to persist across parts of the Hawaiian Islands with sufficient rainfall limited to the windward, east-facing slopes.

Suppressed convection, including a reduction of tropical cyclone activity across the Caribbean region is typical during El Niño summers. Therefore, drought persistence is the most likely outcome across Puerto Rico.

Forecaster: B. Pugh

Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: August 20, 2015 at 8:30 AM EDT

Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion

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Page last modified: July 16, 2015
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