Latest U.S. Drought Monitor Update Shows Drought Expansion Continuing And The Long Term Oulook Calls For More of The SameThu, 19 Nov 2020 16:38:58 CST
Dryness and drought expanded and intensified significantly across Texas and adjacent areas in Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the latest U.S. drought monitor update.
Since mid-September, precipitation totals were 4 to 8 inches below normal across central and northeastern Texas, southern Oklahoma and adjacent Arkansas.
Areas of abnormally dry (D0) and moderate drought (D1) expanded across central and eastern Texas. Drought is more entrenched in west Texas near New Mexico where many areas have declined into extreme drought (D3) and exceptional drought (D4) this week.
In the last six months much of west Texas outside of the Panhandle received only 15 to 35 percent of normal precipitation.
Enough precipitation fell across western Wyoming this past week to slightly reduce drought severity but broad areas of D3 and D4 remained across Wyoming and Colorado.
Moderate to severe drought stretched across Nebraska and Kansas.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture readings also declined this week, adding to concerns for the winter wheat crop.
To view the U.S. Drought map, click here.
In Oklahoma, the area suffering abnormally dry or worse conditions expanded dramatically this past week, going from 36.87 percent last week to 53.50 percent of coverage this week.
We continue to see two large areas of extreme drought (D3) in Cimarron and Harmon Counties.
The northeast and eastern border counties remain in relatively good shape.
To view the Oklahoma drought map, click here.
Looking ahead at the NOAA forecast maps, there is some good news as moderate to heavy precipitation should fall on a swath from Kansas and Oklahoma northeast through the lower Great Lakes region.
More than 1.5 inches of precipitation are forecast across southern Illinois, central Missouri and southeastern Kansas.
We hope some of that much needed moisture will find its way into Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, above normal temperatures are expected for the Thanksgiving holiday week.
To view the 6-10-day temperature outlook, click here.
To view the 6-10-day precipitation outlook, click here.
Unfortunately, the seasonal map extending from now until February does not bode well for Oklahoma or much of the west and southwest as current drought conditions are expected to persist or worsen.
To view the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map, click here.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Map is developed through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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