The drought monitor that was issued Thursday shows a fading of drought conditions throughout much of the nation.
"We see the lowest drought coverage in the lower 48 states that we've seen since October of 2005," says USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. "So we're seeing the lowest coverage in more than three years at this point; that's certainly good news from an agricultural standpoint."
However, according to the seasonal drought outlook, some areas will experience persistent or intensified drought conditions throughout the winter months.
"We're expecting to see drought persistence and development for much of southern California and into parts of Arizona," Rippey says. "We expect the same situation in Texas, particularly central and southern Texas. And in the Southeast we're also expecting drought development possible in parts of Florida and certainly persistence in the southern Appalachians."
A fairly active weather system should bring fairly wet conditions to the North and West between now and February.