Friday, April 26, 2013

Drought Dwindling In Many Places

The newest update on drought information was released yesterday, with some encouraging news for parts of the country.  Nationally, just over sixty percent is in some stage of dry to drought condition, with 47 percent of the country experiencing some drought.  This is down quite a bit from the beginning of the year, when those percentage levels were 73 and 61, respectively.

The biggest dents in drought have been in the Southeast and the lower Mid Atlantic, where drought has nearly been eliminated thanks to some heavy rains in February and March across Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as across eastern parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and western Arkansas.  While drought is still pretty prevalent across the Plains, the extremity of drought coverage in the exceptional and extreme categories has been cut by a third since January 1st (from 21 percent to 14 percent).

While we're still worse off than a year ago (37 percent in drought compared to 47 percent now), it is better than a few months ago.  We still need a continued, persistent rainfall to help mitigate the drought situation further.  That potentially could take place next Tuesday and Wednesday as modeling shows a storm system digging down into the Midwest with the prospect of thunderstorms for much of the Plains during this time frame.