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Drought Conditions Worsen in Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley

Heavy rains in the Southwest and Colorado should ease drought conditions and reduce wildfires.

The ClimatePredictionCenter of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an unscheduled update to its U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, calling for dryer weather in the northern Plains and UpperMississippiValley.

The updated outlook shows recently-worsening drought conditions affecting parts of the northern Plains and the UpperMississippiValley. The outlook now predicts the drought already affecting major portions of Iowa, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Wyoming, "should continue and even expand" through September, to include all of those states; in addition to eastern Montana, and most of Minnesota, as well.

In the south, drought is expected to persist over much of the central and southern Plains. However, recent heavy rains due to the onset of the U.S. monsoon season should ease drought conditions and reduce wildfires in the Southwest and Colorado, although long-term drought is likely to continue.

Summer weather often brings short bursts of severe weather, NOAA says.

Despite the updated outlook, the NOAA U.S. Hazards Assessment indicates the potential for severe weather during July 13-14 in the upper Midwest. Also, the latest 6- to ten-day outlook from the NOAAClimatePredictionCenter shows a vast area of abnormal warmth centered over the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, including nearly the entire continental U.S. outside of the GulfCoast region.

More unwelcome rains are expected for large parts of the East, but the West and Plains states should see mostly below-normal rainfall.


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