Latest Seasonal Assessment -
Heavy rainfall during the past month resulted in major drought reduction throughout the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys, the southern and northern thirds of the Plains, parts of the Southwest, and much of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, drought developed or intensified over the northern Intermountain West, the central Great Basin, and parts of the Southeast. Much of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River remained drought-free, except for a few small areas in Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, and Vermont.
The drought outlook valid from October 18, 2018 through January 31, 2019 is based on 7-day precipitation forecasts, extended range (6-10/8-14 day) precipitation and temperature outlooks, the CPC November through January (NDJ) precipitation and temperature outlooks, and climatology. Recent rainfall along with 7-day streamflow and soil moisture were also considered.
Long-term drought is likely to persist throughout much of the western U.S. However, an increasingly wet climatology through the late fall and winter avors improvement and removal of drought across the more short-term drought areas of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Additional drought improvement and removal are likely across eastern Kansas, Missouri, the Tennessee Valley, Georgia, South Carolina and the southern Great Plains. The expected drought removal or improvement also included much of Arizona and New Mexico, and southern sections of Utah and Colorado. Prospects for drought amelioration decrease across the northern Great Plains where persistence is more likely. A majority of the eastern U.S. is forecast to remain drought-free through the end of January.
Drought removal or improvement is likely along the Alaska Panhandle due to a very wet time of year. No drought development is expected for Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Forecaster: Yun Fan
Next Seasonal Outlook issued: November 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM EST
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion