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Drought Update: No Improvements In The West

August 27, 2015

UPDATED By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist John Bateman

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The drought and dryness remained relatively unchanged east of the Mississippi River this past week, while the extreme drought grew over the Pacific Northwest.

Although moderate-to-heavy rain fell across portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York and central Maine within the last 7-days, much of this region has experienced widespread dryness during the month of August. Because of this, only isolated, minor changes were made to the drought and dryness conditions.

In the South, several rounds of rain this past week resulted in widespread improvements across north-central Alabama and small areas of northern Georgia. In the southern parts of those states areas have generally been on the dry side during this same period. The Carolinas had mixed results with eastern locations seeing some improvements to their dryness while other locations were parched.

In Florida, rainfall across much of the state was adequate during the past week, contributing to improvements for much of northeastern Florida. Other parts of the state, however, remained rather dry. The first area is drought-stricken southeastern Florida, where severe and extreme drought areas were expanded slightly northward due to low water levels in the Everglades. The second area is the west-central Florida Panhandle, where abnormal dryness was expanded across several counties, as well as adjacent counties in extreme southeast Alabama.

Along the mid-South and southern Plains, areas of moderate-to-heavy rain fell over portions of Texas which helped to alleviate severe short-term drought. In Oklahoma there was a mixed bag of good and bad with some areas getting needed rainfall as others intensified their drought. In nearby Louisiana, drought conditions intensified in the north while heavy rain helped locations in the south. A small part of Mississippi was downgraded to a severe drought due to the recent dry conditions.

Heading into the central and northern Plains, abnormally dry conditions expanded across eastern Montana, while heavy rains helped the northern portion of the Red River Valley near the Minnesota/North Dakota border, as well as across the Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota. A slight expansion of severe and extreme drought in western Montana, and moderate drought conditions were expanded across southeast portions of Idaho. In the Pacific Northwest, extreme drought coverage was expanded across east-central Washington, and north-central and northeastern Oregon. In some cases, record or near-record dryness has been reported since meteorological summer began.

In the southwestern U.S., light-to-moderate rain fell across southern sections of both Arizona and New Mexico. In New Mexico, no changes were made to the drought depiction. No revisions were considered necessary this week in the Southwest or California either.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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