Slight Improvements Seen in Most Drought Categories this Week

To view the latest Oklahoma drought map, CLICK HERE.

According to the latest Oklahoma drought monitor report, exceptional drought remains at zero, unchanged from the past three months.

Extreme drought or worse is at 1.15 percent, down slightly from last week’s 1.16 percent.

Severe drought or worse is at 10.38 percent, down from last week’s 11.38 percent.

Moderate drought or worse is at 32.29 percent, down from last week’s 33.99 percent.

Abnormally dry or worse conditions are at 57.68 percent, up from last week’s 51.95 percent.

According to the 6-to-10-day precipitation outlook map, the northeast part of the state is leaning below a 33 to 40 percent chance of precipitation through December 16. The central part of the state is at a near-normal chance of precipitation, and the southern part of the state is leaning above a 33 to 40 percent chance of precipitation through December 16.

To view the United States Drought Map, click here.

According to the latest U.S. drought monitor report, this week saw continued improvements on the map in drought-affected areas of the South, Southeast, and Pacific Northwest. In the South and Southeast, heavy rains over the weekend impacted areas of the Mid-South, and Gulf Coast states with isolated locations in southern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle receiving up to 7-inch accumulations. In the Pacific Northwest, a series of atmospheric rivers delivered heavy rainfall to western Oregon and Washington as well as significant mountain snow to the higher elevations of the Olympic Peninsula, Cascade Range, and the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Some of the highest precipitation accumulations (8-15+ inches liquid) were observed in the Olympic Mountains, Cascades of southwestern Washington, and in the coastal ranges of west-central Oregon. Further inland, higher elevations in central Idaho and northwestern Montana ranges, Northern Great Basin ranges, the Tetons and Wind River ranges in northwestern Wyoming, the Wasatch Range in northern Utah, and the Colorado Rockies all received significant snowfall accumulations that helped to boost snowpack levels closer to normal to above normal levels. Likewise, high-elevation snows were observed in the mountains of the Southwest including along the Mogollon Rim and Chuska Mountains of Arizona as well as in the Nacimiento and Sangre de Cristo ranges of New Mexico. In California, snowpack conditions continue to lag normal levels with the statewide snow water equivalent (SWE) at 29% of normal (12/5). According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL network (12/5), region-wide (2-digit HUCs) percent of median snow water equivalent (SWE) levels were as follows: Pacific Northwest 73%, Souris-Red-Rainy 70%, Missouri 73%, California 73%, Great Basin 102%, Upper Colorado 86%, Lower Colorado 78%, Rio Grande 65%, and Arkansas-White-Red 64%. In areas of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern New England, light-to-moderate snowfall accumulations (ranging from 1 to 12+ inches) were observed during the past week with the highest totals (12+ inches) reported in areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. In areas of the Hawaiian Islands, locally heavy showers and flash flooding were observed last week in association with a Kona Low system that helped to ease drought conditions across the island chain.

In the Southern Plains, locally very heavy rainfall (up to 9 inches) was observed along the Gulf Coast regions of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi leading to one-category improvements in areas experiencing severe drought conditions. In Texas, areas of Extreme Drought (D3) expanded on the Edwards Plateau and South Central due to a combination of factors including long-term precipitation deficits and poor hydrologic conditions (streamflows, groundwater, and reservoir storage). Statewide reservoir conditions in Texas were at 68% full (12/6), with some poor conditions being reported including in the San Angelo area reservoirs which were at 22.9% full, according to Water Data for Texas. In northeastern Oklahoma, recent precipitation events led to some minor improvements in areas of Moderate Drought (D1) and Severe Drought (D2) while areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) were added in the Panhandle region. According to the Oklahoma Mesonet (12/5), the Panhandle region has gone 64 consecutive days with less than 0.25 inches of rainfall. In Tennessee, reductions in areas of Severe Drought (D2) and Extreme Drought (D3) were made on the map in response to precipitation during the past 14-day period. However, 4-to-8-inch precipitation deficits (60-day period) remain across the state as well as areas with poor surface water conditions.

In the High Plains, in this week’s map, some widespread one-category improvements were made across southeastern Kansas in response to precipitation during the past 30-60 days. According to the USGS, streamflow levels in the southeastern and east-central part of the state are normal to above normal. Conversely, numerous stream gauges are reporting much below-normal flows (< 10th percentile) in the central part of the state. In the Dakotas, conditions on the map remained status quo. In terms of snowpack conditions, the NWS NOHRSC reports the Upper Midwest Region (which includes the Dakotas, eastern Montana, and northeastern Wyoming) is currently 4.8% covered by snow with a maximum depth of 10 inches. Average temperatures for the week were generally above normal (2 to 10+ degrees F) with the greatest departures observed in the Dakotas. Today (12/5), high temperatures in North Dakota are expected to reach near 60 degrees F.

In the West, on the map, improvements were made across areas of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest including New Mexico, Oregon, and Montana. In northern New Mexico, areas of Extreme Drought (D3) were reduced in response to recent precipitation (past 14-day period) including high-elevation snowfall in the Nacimiento and Sangre de Cristo ranges. According to the NRCS SNOTEL network (12/5), sub-basin (8-digit HUCs) percent of median SWE levels were above normal in several New Mexico sub-basins including: Rio Grande-Santa Fe 116%, Jemez 170%, Chaco 161%, Rio Puerco 212%, and Upper Gila 192%. In the Pacific Northwest, an extended atmospheric river event delivered much-needed precipitation to the region including heavy rains and high elevation snowfall in western portions of Oregon and Washington as well as in the far northwestern corner of California, leading to one-category improvements on the map. According to the USGS, streamflow levels across western Washington and Oregon are ranging from normal (southern Oregon) to well above normal (northwestern Oregon and western Washington). The highest flows, including areas with severe flooding (i.e., Skagit and Snohomish rivers), were observed in western Washington. For the week, average temperatures across the region were generally above normal (2 to 8 degrees C) with the greatest positive departures observed in central portions of Oregon and Idaho and across the eastern two-thirds of Montana.

Looking ahead, the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) calls for moderate-to-heavy precipitation accumulations ranging from 2 to 5+ inches (liquid) across western portions of Washington and Oregon as well as northwestern California, while 1 to 2+ inch accumulations (liquid) are expected in areas of eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho Panhandle, and northwestern Montana. In the Intermountain West, accumulations around an inch are expected in areas of the northern Great Basin, and the Rockies (central and northern). In the eastern tier of the conterminous U.S., accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are expected with the heaviest totals anticipated in western North Carolina. The NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 Day Outlooks call for a moderate-to-high probability of above-normal temperatures across California, Arizona, Nevada, southern Oregon as well as in the northern Plains, New England, and south Florida. Conversely, temperatures are expected to be below normal across most of the Gulf Coast region, Texas, and eastern New Mexico. In terms of precipitation, below-normal precipitation is expected across most of the conterminous U.S. except for areas of Texas, Florida, and upper New England.

To view the 6-10 Day Precipitation Outlook Map, click here.

To view the 6-10 Day Temperature Outlook Map, click here.

To view the Monthly Drought Outlook Map, click here.

Verified by MonsterInsights