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HOME > Expert Assessments > Drought Information > Monthly Drought Outlook
United States Monthly Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
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Latest Monthly Assessment - During past 30 days, drought has slowly improved (1 to 3 class) across parts of the Pacific Northwest, Four Corners region, Central and Southern Great Plains, Middle and Lower Mississippi Valleys, Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, and parts of the Southeastern contiguous U.S. (CONUS) due to above normal precipitation. Conversely, drought development and intensification was observed across parts of the northern Intermountain West and NorthernHigh Plains, and parts of northwestern Arizona due to below normal precipitation.

Looking forward through the end of February, slow improvements are forecast to continue across parts of western Oregon, given the wet time of year and favorable precipitation and temperature outlooks through at least the first half of the month. However, much of the Pacific moisture flow is not likely to go far enough inland to make a meaningful impact on existing drought in the interior Pacific Northwest and northern Intermountain West, where drought is favored to persist. Ongoing drought conditions are expected to ease a bit in parts of the Southwest where precipitation chances are high through most of February. However, even though above normal prediction is favored in the updated CPC monthly outlook, persistence is likely for the reminder of New Mexico due to February being a rather dry time of year. The Central Great Plains will likely remain a battleground, with mixed persistence and improvement. Meanwhile, improvements are most likely in the southern Plains and persistence is favored in the northern Plains. A cold time of year and lack of wet signals in the monthly outlook make drought persistence the most likely outcome across much of the Midwest, except parts of the southern region where improvements are likely due to above normal heavy precipitation during the past week. Near to above normal precipitation is expected across the Southeast, favoring further improving drought conditions across the region. Persistence is forecast for the existing drought over the Northeast due to unfavorable precipitation outlooks through the end of February. Alaska is forecast to remain drought-free through the end of February, with wet antecedent conditions and favorable precipitation outlooks for much of the state throughout the month. Drought persistence is favored in Hawaii due to forecast below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures, with potential development over currently anomalous dry areas. Also antecedent dryness, El Niño, and unfavorable precipitation outlooks favor drought persistence and development in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Forecaster: Yun Fan

Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: February 29, 2024 at 3:00 PM EST

Forecaster: Yun Fan

Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: February 29, 2024 at 3:00 PM EST

Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion


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