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More Rain Visits Midwest, Leaves Far West Dry

More Rain Visits Midwest, Leaves Far West Dry

Drought Monitor records near-repeat of conditions from last week, leaving most severe drought conditions unchanged

The Central Plains, Midwest and Tennessee Valley saw plenty of rain as a near-repeat of week-before conditions visited the U.S., stalling harvest in many areas and leaving the far West dry again, the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, showed.

New England also remained dry, and a slight expansion of D1 and abnormally dry conditions were recorded in the area.

Rainfall is running anywhere from 50 to 75% of normal in the area dating back to mid-July, and soil moisture and streamflow levels have fallen, the Drought Monitor recap said.

Drought Monitor records near-repeat of conditions from last week, leaving most severe drought conditions unchanged

This week's map depicts several changes to the southeastern and south-central drought landscape after heavy rains fell across northern Mississippi, Tennessee, most of Kentucky, most of Alabama and northern Georgia.

Large areas of D0-D2 have been reduced or erased, leaving both Kentucky and Tennessee drought/dryness free this week. Large areas of one-category improvement are noted in all parts of Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and southwestern and northern Georgia.

Related: USDA Crop Progress and Condition Report for Oct. 14

Another storm dumped another round of heavy rains across the state of Missouri, eastern and southern Kansas, western and southern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas on the heels of large areas of heavy rains last week across the region last week.

Large one- to two-category improvements are noted in the D0-D2 areas on this week's map for those areas seeing the heaviest rains.

Soil moisture and streamflows are in great shape heading into winter in these areas as well. Missouri saw large improvements, with a small remnant of D0 being all that remains in the southwest part of the state where D1 was last week.

Texas was more of a mixed bag, with rains improving things by one category in the east-central portion of the state, but warm and dry conditions leading to degradation, with expansion of D1-D3 sneaking back in across south Texas.

North-central Texas has also fared a bit better of late, and this is reflected in a slight trimming of D2-D4 in this part of the state and along the Red River border with Oklahoma.

Farther north, the rains missed the northern Plains. Just a slight expansion of D0 showed up in southeastern North Dakota. To the east in Wisconsin, a good late period soaking led to the removal of the D0 across the southwestern quadrant of the state.

High temps and dryness continue to plague much of the West during the early weeks of the new Water Year, with the exceptions being southern Colorado, southeast Arizona and the eastern third of Washington in the Cascade Range and along the coastal ranges. This trend has led to an expansion of D1 across more of northeastern Oregon.

One area that has done really well the past six months, and even tracking back to the beginning of the calendar year, has been in eastern Idaho, parts of northern Utah and northern Nevada, the drought map said. This has led to some early Water Year reassessment, noted by the trimming and shifting of D0-D2 westward in eastern Idaho and through a change of the impact line from "S/L" to "L".

The recent run of wetness this fall has led to some favorable soil moisture recharge and improving conditions in southern Colorado, with the removal of D3 and some reduction of D0-D2 noted there on this week's map.

More Rain Visits Midwest, Leaves Far West Dry

Source: Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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