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Drought Update: Dry Southeast Receives Beneficial Rainfall

April 11, 2008

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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Beneficial rain fell across the long-suffering and parched South and Southeast the last several weeks, helping to shrink the most extreme drought areas. Even so, this area continues to see some of the worst widespread drought conditions in the U.S.

Northeastern Alabama, northern Georgia and the western Carolinas remain the hardest hit as last week`s storms and heavy rain that produced 2 to 8 inches of rain in other parts of the South missed many of these parched locations.

Another major area reporting drought conditions stretches from southern and western Texas northward into the western High Plains of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Montana. Drought areas of the southern Plains have received less than half the usual rainfall over the last six months, with southwestern Texas recording a quarter of the normal rainfall in the same period.

Although much of the southern and central Rockies and the Pacific Northwest have seen significant snowfall, and will likely not see drought conditions this summer, it is a different story for the Great Basin as well as southern and central California. These areas didn`t receive much rain and snow over the winter and are entering the driest time of the year.

Rainfall associated with the storm system moving out of the central Plains will sweep across the drought-stricken Southeast this weekend, bringing a bit of much-needed rain. Even so, the inch or two of rain will not make much of a dent in the long-term deficits, which still exceed 20 inches in the driest Southeast locations. Other drought areas will see minimal rainfall over the next week or two

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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