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Drought Lingers For Western U.S.

July 24, 2014

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Mike Marston

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Cool and wet weather was dominant over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. this week, while an unwelcomed ridge of high pressure loomed over the West.

Although locally heavy rains fell from the Northeast to the MidAtlantic, the areas needing rain the most received little to no precipitation. For these reasons the map is unchanged from Maine to Maryland.

The Southeast also saw frequent showers and thunderstorms over the last seven days, leading to a decrease in abnormally dry conditions in the Carolina`s. Central Alabama and southern Georgia saw rain amounts less than a half inch; drought conditions were slightly expended there.

Heavy rains fell over the central and southern Plains again this week. Drought conditions improved across the board from Texas to Nebraska, but the short term surplus did not eliminate the multi-year drought that has occurred over these locations, which is why drought intensities are still high.

Drought free conditions remain from the Northern Plains to the Great Lakes as moderate rain continues to fall week after week. Unseasonably cool weather also dropped into these locations, bringing record to near-record lows; helping to keep moisture in the ground.

The Southwest, still seeing daily rain from the summer monsoon, has once again seen upgrades to most locations. Heavy rains fell over New Mexico and eastern Arizona but the rain did not manage to make it into western Arizona and southern Calif., leading to an expansion of severe drought conditions. Locally heavy rain even made it up into the Lake Tahoe area, but the one to three inches of rain that fell didn`t solve any of their long-term problems.

Wildfires have continued to sprout throughout the Pacific Northwest due to the persistent dry and hot weather. Drought conditions were expanded and downgraded to reflect the decrease in soil moisture across Washington and Oregon.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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