Latest Monthly Assessment -
A three-pronged drought scenario continued across the contiguous U.S. during the past month, with drought conditions expanding across the Four Corners states following a lackluster Monsoon, short term drought continuing across the southern Plains with a westward shift in the most intense areas, and widespread late Summer flash drought conditions beginning to ease across the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. In contrast, flash drought conditions continued to expand across southeastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, parts of Georgia, and upland South Carolina. Towards the end of the month, frigid Canadian air invaded the western and central parts of the U.S., with frontal systems pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico (and a pair of weak tropical cyclones) and generating widespread precipitation across the eastern U.S., while record warmth and relative dryness persisted across Florida and other parts of the Southeast.
During November, the rapidly declining sun angle and temperatures, along with vegetative dormancy, provide a prime opportunity for soil moisture recharge. Early in the month, widespread precipitation is forecast across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast ahead of a potent cold front, followed by a period of cold weather across much of the central and eastern U.S. Enhanced precipitation along the southern edge of the cold high pressure is favored for Texas, the Deep South, and the South Atlantic during Week-2. For the latter half of November, dynamical models generally favor a de-amplification of the pattern with increasing uncertainty. Based on recent rainfall and the potential for widespread additional precipitation, continued drought reduction is favored for the Southern Plains and much of the East. Drought persistence seems like the most likely outcome for Florida and southern Georgia, however, where precipitation deficits persist and the short term forecasts indicate lighter accumulations. Persistence is also favored for the Four Corners region, where climatological precipitation is low and the updated CPC November outlook favors below-median precipitation. Despite the ongoing wildfires in California and widespread above-normal temperatures, early season snowpack and reservoir conditions across the West remain in good shape, and drought development is not anticipated. Continued drought improvement across Hawaii may be limited to the central islands, and while climatological precipitation increases across the Alaska Panhandle this time of year, the absence of a clear wet signal limits prospects for widespread improvement of the long term drought conditions.
Forecaster: Adam Allgood
Next Monthly Outlook issued: November 30, 2019 at 3 PM EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion