Latest Seasonal Assessment -
During the past month, a persistent subtropical moisture plume that extended from the Caribbean Sea northward across the East Coast states resulted in the removal of all drought in this area. Conditions in New England and New York (which missed out on most of the subtropical rain) have steadily declined in the past month, warranting drought development in this region. In the Midwest, a meandering frontal boundary is forecast to bring 3-7 inches of rain to portions of the region, favoring improvement and/or removal of drought. Unfortunately, during this time of year, crops demand a lot of water to grow properly and eventually produce good yields. If the rainfall received does not outpace the high water demand, this area would be prone to redevelopment of dryness and drought later in the July-September (JAS) 2018 outlook period. Precipitation associated with this frontal zone is expected to reach Kansas and northern Oklahoma, promoting drought improvement and/or removal. The Dakotas are expected to be far enough to the north to miss out on the heavy rains associated with the meandering front early in the drought outlook period, and drought is expected to persist in that region. A weak tropical system now along the Texas Coast is bringing heavy rainfall to the area, warranting drought removal. In the Southwest, the climatological onset of the Summer Monsoon is approaching, and favors widespread improvement of drought conditions, especially in the Four Corners region and southern Rockies. The latest guidance suggests this will be a fairly robust monsoon, which will help elevate the confidence level for improvement. In the interior Northwest, with the dry season now in full swing, drought persistence is favored. In Hawaii, persistent trade winds are predicted to bring adequate rainfall to the northeast-facing, windward volcanic slopes. Leeward slopes, however, lie in more protected rain shadow areas, and are therefore expected to see drought develop over the next several months. With most precipitation outlooks out to one season in advance favoring above normal precipitation, any dryness in Alaska is expected to be short-lived. In Puerto Rico, despite this being the rainy season for the Commonwealth, dynamical guidance from the National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) predicts a strong signal for dryness. The abnormal dryness region (D0 on the U.S. Drought Monitor) is primed for additional deterioration, along with drought development.
Forecaster: Anthony Artusa
Next Seasonal Outlook issued: July 19, 2018 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion