Latest Seasonal Assessment -
Drought coverage continues to decrease across the Lower 48 states, after a relatively wet winter and early spring for many areas. CPC's monthly and seasonal precipitation outlooks, valid for June and Jun-Jul-Aug (JJA) respectively, favor large areas of above normal precipitation across the CONUS, except parts of the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Alaska Panhandle where below normal precipitation is favored. These outlooks, a generally favorable JJA climatology, and a wide array of dynamical and statistical models and tools, support drought improvement/removal over most residual drought areas over the Four Corners region. The exception is Washington state and northwestern Oregon, which recorded large precipitation deficits (12 to 16 inches) this past winter and early spring, unlike most other portions of the West. Although some precipitation is expected during the next few weeks, the Pacific Northwest is entering its dry season. Climatological considerations, in addition to CPC's June and JJA 2019 precipitation outlooks convincingly tilt the odds towards drought persistence in north-central Washington, with parts of region of drought development expected. Drought coverage over the Southeast decreased recently. However, precipitation deficits in southeastern Georgia are on the order of 2-6 inches for the past 3-months. The CPC June and JJA precipitation and temperature outlooks favor above normal temperatures with no strong precipitation signal during both June and JJA. Drought persistence is favored.
The dry signal predicted over the Pacific Northwest during JJA is expected to also influence the Alaska Panhandle region. The southern Panhandle has been in hydrologic drought for many months, and the low reservoir levels have resulted in reduced hydropower production. Drought may extend northward during this JJA season to include parts of the northern portion of the Panhandle. In Hawaii, the climatological rainy season will soon give way to its dry phase, and this dry signal is expected to be reinforced by a weak El Niño. With increasingly persistent trade winds a common feature during the Hawaiian dry season, leeward slopes are expected to miss out on the heavy rainfall amounts that are usually received on the windward slopes. Drought persistent is forecast with possible drought development over parts of leeward areas of Lanai and Big Island. In Puerto Rico, the remaining area of moderate drought over the central part of Puerto Rico is expected to persist as the climatologically wet JJA season advances, but with warm and dry signals in the monthly and seasonal forecast tools.
Forecaster: Yun Fan
Next Seasonal Outlook issued: June 20, 2019 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion