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Drought Update: Plains, Midwest Break Out Of Dry Pattern

October 17, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Recent heavy rain helped make leaps and strides in the drought impacting the nation`s midsection. Soggy weather also put a dent in the Deep South`s drought. The West and Northeast are still the sore spots for rainfall deficits.

Two to 6 inches of rain helped make leaps and strides in the drought across the Plains and Midwest. Streams are flowing with appreciable water and soil moisture is in great shape here. Western and southern Missouri saw the most significant improvements. The only part of the southern Plains that missed out on the beneficial downpours was southern Texas where moderate to extreme drought expanded in coverage.

An active storm track brought much needed rain to northern Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia as well. This helped reduce the amount of real estate previously impacted by moderate to severe drought.

Dry weather allowed rainfall deficits to expand in large stretches of New England before the rain arrived earlier this week. In several spots, rainfall amounts since July have been half of average. It was a different story farther south; soggy weather helped chip away at slowly mounting rain deficits in the Mid-Atlantic.

Unfortunately, a high pressure ridge brought ample sunshine and more dry weather to much of the drought-plagued West this past week. Drought even expanded into northeastern Oregon. On the contrary, eastern Idaho, northern Utah and Nevada have seen their share of rain in the last six month. Southern Colorado has also been on a soggy stretch recently, allowing soil moisture to recharge, and in some cases, erased extreme drought problems.

Looking ahead, an active pattern will bring a few batches of beneficial rain to the Northwest. The rain will likely miss the hardest hit areas of the West, including California and western Nevada.

The storm track will also favor showers from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast. Rainfall amounts will likely be lowest where the rain is needed the most, including places like Hartford, Conn., and Boston. Warm temperatures won`t help the southern Rockies and Southwest drought while cooler weather invades the East.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

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