Latest Seasonal Assessment -
From mid-June through mid-July 2016, most changes in drought conditions have been for the worse. Drought expanded and intensified across much of the Northeast, eastern Great Lakes region, and upper Ohio Valley. Conditions have also declined significantly in much of western South Dakota and adjacent Wyoming while scattered small areas of drought developed across the Plains. Notable improvement was limited to central Tennessee and the Big Island of Hawaii.
Most existing areas of drought are expected to persist or worsen by the end of October, with some expansion expected in the Southeast, central Texas, and the northern Intermountain West. Odds favor below-normal precipitation in the CPC Seasonal Outlook for August-October 2016, so persistence and some expansion is forecast despite some rainfall expected into early August. Persistence is also expected in the Northeast. Some worsening and expansion is likely in the short term, but confidence is low that any development will persist through October, so no development is forecast. Seasonably dry weather should keep drought conditions intact across the West, with drought development expected in part of the northern Intermountain West, where warm weather engendered early snowmelt loss, leading to low streamflows and soil moisture decline.
In contrast, drought should improve in the Southwest as the monsoon season progresses, and in the northern Plains where the CPC seasonal outlook favors above-normal precipitation. Improvement is also expected in southeastern Puerto Rico, and on southern windward reaches of the Big Island in Hawaii; however, other areas of drought in the state are on the leeward side and should persist given odds favoring below-normal seasonal precipitation.
Forecaster: Richard Tinker
Next Seasonal Drought Outlook issued: August 18, 2016 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion