The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released August 1st. The far western part of the country was dry this past week while the Southwest has seen good monsoonal activity.
Widespread precipitation fell from northeast Colorado to southwest South Dakota to northeast Minnesota, and in Missouri and southwest Iowa. Widespread rainfall took place in Florida, southeast Georgia, and North Carolina and Virginia.
Areas of dry weather included Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, and the central and southern Great Plains. Generally, below-normal temperatures occurred from the southern Plains to the mid-South to the Southeast, while warmer than normal temperatures were common in the Southwest, particularly in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Texas and Oklahoma remained dry over the past week. This continues the recent drying trend. In response to the dry weather and growing short-term precipitation deficits and associated surface water and soil moisture concerns, Abnormally Dry and Drought Conditions were expanded in Texas and Oklahoma. Moderate drought was introduced from the southern Texas Panhandle into southwest Oklahoma and in west Texas. Short-term moderate drought expanded northward through parts of southern Texas. In response to recent rainfall, a small area of severe drought was reduced in southern Texas.
Over the past 30-days, large areas of the Southern Plains and western U.S. have experienced unusually dry conditions (left image above). Temperatures (right image above) over the same time period have been somewhat moderate with the exception of the Corn-Belt, South Texas, and parts of the Southwest.
As would be expected, we are seeing drying in those areas that have seen a combination of unusually hot and dry conditions over the last month.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Change Map (above) for the past month shows the areas (yellow/orange) were drought has expanded over the last 30-days.
Texas and Oklahoma have observed some of the largest expansions of dry and drought conditions over the 30-day time period. Kansas and parts of the Corn-Belt have also seen an expansion of dry conditions. The Southeast also remains dry and while the region had rebounded somewhat in the previous months, dry conditions are yet again starting to creep in.
The U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook was also released August 1st. NOAA is expecting drought will further develop over Texas and Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest through August.
Looking at the Week 1 (Aug 7-11) and Week 2 (Aug 9-15) forecasts, adds further evidence the Texas and Oklahoma will likely not have a good start to the month. Above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation is expected.