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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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No consistency adjustments to the Seasonal Drought Outlook were necessary.

Updated Seasonal Assessment - No consistency adjustments to the Seasonal Drought Outlook were necessary.

Latest Seasonal Assessment - La Niña conditions continued to evolve over the last four weeks, and are very likely to persist through the winter (December 2021 - February 2022). This Drought Outlook is largely driven by the La Niña and its typical effects on conditions across the United States. Since mid-October 2021, improvement finally arrived in parts of the West, with strong storms bringing heavy precipitation from the Pacific Northwest southward through the Sacramento Valley. After a record-breaking spell of over 200 days without measurable precipitation, Sacramento CA has accumulated over 7 inches of precipitation, compared to a normal of about 1.7 inches. This precipitation benefitted conditions across the region, but given the multi-year, entrenched nature of the drought in California and parts of the interior Northwest, improvement was more superficial than it might appear. Farther east, significant precipitation also brought improvement to parts of the central and northern Rockies, the central and northern Plains, and the upper reaches of the Northeast. In contrast, continued subnormal precipitation engendered deterioration in north-central Montana, the southern High Plains, central Texas, The ArkLaTex region into western Mississippi, and the Carolinas. Some drought deterioration also impacted Hawaii. Looking forward from mid-November 2021 through the end of February 2022, continued improvement is expected over Pacific Northwest and the northern halves of the Intermountain West and Rockies. Heavy precipitation is favored here during La Niña episodes. Improvement is also anticipated in western sections of the Great Lakes region and the adjacent Upper Midwest. General improvement is also anticipated over Hawaii. Farther south, where subnormal winter precipitation typically occurs during La Niña, drought should remain intact or worsen over the southwestern quarter of the country, with some expansion expected into areas currently free of drought from central Texas and Oklahoma westward through the southern Rockies. Also, drought should generally persist in the Carolinas. Outside the contiguous states, expected surplus rainfall should improve conditions across Hawaii, while odds tilting toward drier than normal conditions should keep small areas of drought intact across Puerto Rico.



Forecaster: Richard Tinker



Next Seasonal Outlook issued: December 16, 2021 at 8:30 AM EST



Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion

 


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