Latest Seasonal Assessment -
Drought will likely persist in the Pacific Northwest, with additional drought expected to develop in Oregon and eastern Washington in association with below-normal precipitation favored during the March-April-May (MAM) period. Drought development is also becoming more likely across much of California due to a drier than normal wet season heading into to the upcoming climatological dry season. The long-term drought in the Four Corners region will likely persist as warmer and drier conditions are forecast for much of the Southwest. Some southward expansion of drought into Arizona and New Mexico is also favored. Much of the eastern two-thirds of the CONUS has seen above-normal precipitation in recent months due to a progressive jet stream pattern and active storm track. As such, the northern High Plains, Midwest, Northeast, and much of the Southeast will likely remain drought free. Drought conditions have improved in recent weeks in central Texas (Southern region) due to rainfall in excess of 6 inches in central portions of the state. However, drought is favored to continue for portions of Southern Texas south of the I-10 corridor extending from the Rio Grande Valley to inland areas of the Gulf Coast. Additional development may occur in western portions of the Southern region in association with above-normal temperatures coupled with below-normal precipitation favored for the period. In the Southeast, drought removal (D1 areas) and improvement (D2 areas) is favored for the Florida Panhandle, with above-normal precipitation favored across all short-range and long-range forecasts. Recent positive precipitation anomalies and continued above-normal precipitation favored over all of Alaska in the short-term favors no drought development for the period. Drought improvement or removal is likely in Hawaii, with enhanced probabilities for above-normal precipitation during the period. Although conditions are drier than normal in northwestern Puerto Rico, drought development is not favored due to weak precipitation signals.
Forecaster: Adam Hartman
Next Seasonal Outlook issued: March 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion