Three low pressure systems brought cold weather and in some cases precipitation across the contiguous U.S. this week, including snow across the northern tier and rains in some areas of Texas, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor said.
Abnormally dry conditions, however, continued across the Mid-Atlantic. Streamflow deficits were noted in the region, and farther south, across Mississippi and Alabama.
Severe drought was introduced in some areas of southern Alabama, while moderate drought was expanded across western and north-central Alabama. Abnormally dry conditions were expanded across northern Louisiana and southern Alabama to reflect a lack of widespread precipitation.
Rainfall during the past seven days in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys helped relieve a small amount of dryness across northern Indiana. Some precipitation indicators are showing dry conditions across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, but streamflows have remained mostly above drought thresholds.
According to this week's drought map author Matthew Rosencrans of NOAA, this area will be monitored for deepening dryness in the coming weeks.
Reports across the Upper Mississippi Valley and Northern Great Plains indicate that the landscape is freezing up and very little soil moisture recharge is possible this year, Rosencrans said.
Some moderate precipitation fell across east-central Minnesota, prompting a small reduction in D0 there, but long-term deficits continued to mount.
Widespread rains fell across the Southern and Central Plains from Texas to Tennessee. The heaviest rains fell across the drought stricken regions of Texas, with rainfall totals exceeding 6 inches. The rains prompted anywhere from a full one-category improvement to minor reductions in drought.
Severe drought and moderate drought in Oklahoma were trimmed along the Red River. No change was made to the drought depiction across Kansas.
Light to moderate precipitation fell across Washington, northern Idaho, and Montana. The precipitation totals across northern Idaho prompted the removal of some D0.
In Washington, the heaviest precipitation fell outside of areas designated as dry or in drought, but some precipitation fell across central Washington prompting a small trimming of D0.
No changes were made to the drought depiction across New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, or Arizona.
Source: Matthew Rosencrans, NOAA; The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in 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.