Latest Monthly Assessment -
Changes to drought conditions have been a mixed bag this past month. A trend toward gradual improvement continued in the Four Corners states, and drought also eased in most of the Southeast, across California and Nevada, and through parts of central and southern Texas. Across Deep South and Eastern Texas, however, conditions deteriorated, as they did in southernmost Florida and parts of the central Great Plains. Drought also developed in portions of the northern Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest.
Early in the late December and early January period, widespread precipitation is forecast to improve or remove drought in south-central Kansas and part of the Red River Valley. Smaller areas of drought in central and far southeastern Texas, east-central Louisiana, and the Florida Panhandle should also see conditions ease. Based on recent trends and precipitation so far this water year, some continued easing or removal of drought should occur in a swath from east-central Arizona through southwestern Utah, and near the middle of the Four Corners Region. Furthermore, an expected increase in rainfall should bring at least some drought improvement where it exists in Hawaii. The relatively small areas of drought in southeastern Alaska and southeastern Puerto Rico should persist, alond with southern Florida, where this is a dry time of year. Precipitation may be near or slightly above normal in most of central and northeastern Texas, the west-central Red River Valley, and much of the Four Corners States, but not enough to provide substantial drought relief. With low confidence, drought is forecast to persist in the northern Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest even though above-normal precipitation may fall during the first half of January. Recent moisture deficits and reduced snowpack may be slow to respond there.
Forecaster: Rich Tinker
Next Monthly Outlook issued: January 31, 2020 at 3 PM EST
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion