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Drought Expands In N. Rockies, Deep South

August 15, 2014

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Dry weather expanded across the Northern Rockies and parts of the Deep South this past week while rain helped chip away at mounting rain deficits in the Northern and Central Plains.

Increasing rainfall deficit in the Northern Rockies has allowed drought to expand through northern Utah and central and western Montana. Meanwhile, dry weather continued along the West Coast. Water restrictions have been imposed statewide in California. Another sign of the increasing western drought is the water level in Lake Mead, now at its lowest level since the lake started being filled in the 1930`s.

Rain has been scarce across parts of the Deep South as well. Moderate drought expanded in southern Georgia, northern Florida and central and southern Alabama where rainfall tallies have been 4 to 8 inches shy of average since the start of the summer.

Rainfall amounts reached up to 8 inches from Oklahoma into southern South Dakota in the last 7 days. This helped to mitigate the recent stretch of dry weather in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas. A few spots in the Western Plains missed the heavy rain, with 2-month rainfall shortages of 2 to 4 inches here.

A dry stretch of weather along Interstate 70 in the Midwest has resulted in an abnormally dry spell. Central Indiana into south-central Michigan has seen less than half of its average rainfall in the last 30 days. Rainfall deficits have exceeded 4 inches in the last two months farther south and west into western Kentucky and Tennessee where a sliver of moderate drought continues.

Looking ahead, much needed showers will pelt the Northern Rockies and then the Midwest and East. The Southeast will stay dry with scattered heavy rain expected in Florida. The pattern will help alleviate mounting rainfall deficits in the Northern Rockies but leave the remainder of the West Coast and Central and Southern Plains with no help from Mother Nature.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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