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Drought In Plains Worsens

April 17, 2014

By WeatherBug's Luke Paris

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Dryness continued to plague the Western U.S. last week, where several drought pockets deteriorated. Little to no rainfall in the Southwest and Southern Rockies prompted the expansion of the severe and moderate drought in eastern New Mexico and Colorado. On the flip side, up to an inch of rain and a few inches of snow were recorded in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, where the low-level drought saw a slight improvement.

A mix of temperatures was felt across the Plains this past week. Warm temperatures brewed across much of the Plains in the first half of the week, followed by a blast of colder highs in the second half. Scattered thunderstorms and even some snow fell across the Central Plains, although the totals were not enough to prevent deteriorations to the drought depictions. Extreme drought developed in much of Kansas while the remaining severe drought was expanded.

Rain and snow fell across the Midwest, where improvements were made to the drought. In contrast, moderate drought lingering in Iowa persisted and pushed westward. Plenty of rain fell across the Southeast as well, but missed a few locations in northeast Mississippi and Tennessee, where low-level drought expanded slightly.

Lack of rainfall and warm temperatures took a toll on the Southern Plains and Deep South. Exceptional drought in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles continued to expand while an assortment of drought pockets in the remainder of Texas deteriorated and expanded as well. Warmer temperatures and moderate rainfall slammed the Northeast, but no changes were made to the drought.

Next week, a plethora of rainfall is expected for the Plains and Upper Midwest. The Pacific Northwest and Southeast will see moderate rainfall as well, which could help eliminate any dryness, but will be accompanied by above-normal temperatures.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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