Storms Continue To Ease Long Term Drought Conditions In California

Chris Wallner | | WeatherWeather
US Drought conditions map. Image:

Storms slammed into the Pacific Coast, drenching California, Oregon, and Washington with several inches of precipitation, then dropping above-normal precipitation across parts of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.  Precipitation drenched parts of the Southern Plains to Lower Mississippi Valley, and fell in above-normal amounts in parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley, but most of the Northern to Central Plains was drier than normal.  Above-normal temperatures affected most of the country and weather was drier than normal for most areas east of the Mississippi River.

Seasonal drought outlook. Image:

Unusual warmth is causing plants to respond prematurely, especially in the Southeast to Midwest.  For example, plant phenology indicates that Alabama is around 20 days ahead of normal with warm soil temps (and dry soils) so that plants think it is March 12 instead of February 20.  The precipitation that fell this week continued to reduce long-term drought in California and contracted drought in the Southern Plains, but dry conditions in the Mid-Mississippi Valley, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic expanded drought.

California Drought Conditions. Image: NOAA Los Angeles, CA

More drought improvements in California on the latest weekly US Drought Monitor. August 6, 2013 was the last time California had no D3 depicted on this map. Long term lingering hydrologic impacts of the drought still remain in portions of southern California although they are continually improving. These impacts include low groundwater levels and some low reservoir and lake levels in areas.


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