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HOME > Expert Assessments > Drought Information > Seasonal Drought Outlook
 
 
 
 
 
United States Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
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For the updated Seasonal Drought Outlook, drought improvement or removal was added to parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri based on recent heavy precipitation durig late October and additional heavy precipitation forecast in early November. Although the November outlook calls for improvement over a larger area of the southern Great Plains, persistence is maintained for the updated Seasonal Drought Outlook, consistent with the November-December-January precipitation outlook.





Updated Seasonal Assessment - For the updated Seasonal Drought Outlook, drought improvement or removal was added to parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri based on recent heavy precipitation durig late October and additional heavy precipitation forecast in early November. Although the November outlook calls for improvement over a larger area of the southern Great Plains, persistence is maintained for the updated Seasonal Drought Outlook, consistent with the November-December-January precipitation outlook.





Latest Seasonal Assessment - During the past month, persistently dry and warm conditions for this time of year resulted in an unusually widespread and rapid development of autumn drought conditions across the Plains, Midwest, and Southeast. As of November 1, abnormal dryness and drought conditions blanketed over 85 percent of the contiguous United States, which is the most on record since the inception of the U.S. Drought Monitor. During early November, a frontal system brought swaths of heavy precipitation to northeastern Texas, Arkansas, and the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, sparking some relief to these drought conditions, while a winter storm brought widespread snow and ice to the northern Plains. Further east, the remnants of Hurricane Nichole combined with a frontal boundary to bring generous recharging moisture to parts of the Northeast. Despite these areas of improvement, drought coverage remains extensive across the CONUS.



The forecast for the December 2022 through February 2023 (DJF) period is heavily influenced by the high potential for La Niña conditions to persist through a third Boreal winter season in a row. Climate anomalies associated with cold ENSO events are robust, and typically favor drier and warmer conditions along the southern tier of the CONUS, and wetter conditions for the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and northern Plains due to a northward displaced mean storm track. Across the eastern US, a favored winter storm track tends to develop across the mid-South and Ohio River Valley through interior New England. Both the December monthly and DJF seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center strongly reflect these canonical La Niña climate anomalies. Therefore, a below-average peak wet season is anticipated for central to southern California and the Southwest, favoring drought persistence, while drought reductions are favored for the Northwest and northern Intermountain West. Little additional drought development is forecast for the Four Corners region due to lingering effects from a robust summer monsoon, though some development is favored for southeastern Colorado where initial conditions are considerably drier. Across the northern Plains and Midwest, dry climatology and freezing soils and streams limit the potential for drought improvements before the Spring thaw, while drought improvements are more likely across the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys. Continued recharge with climatologically generous precipitation favors continued drought improvements for the Northeast, while dry, warm winter conditions across the southern tier favor widespread drought development across eastern Texas and the Southeast. Drought development is also possible across South Florida, while extremely wet conditions due to Hurricanes Ian and Nicole preclude winter drought development north of Lake Okeechobee.



La Niña winters tend to be wetter than normal across Hawaii; therefore, continued drought reductions are the most likely outcome. No drought is currently posted or expected to develop during the DJF period across Alaska and Puerto Rico.



Forecaster: Adam Allgood



Next Seasonal Outlook issued: December 15, 2022 at 8:30 AM EST



Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion

 


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