Latest Monthly Assessment -
Widespread heavy rainfall, including the landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto, brought substantial drought relief to the southeastern quadrant of the CONUS during the past month. As of May 29, no drought was indicated east of the Mississippi River on the U.S. Drought Monitor, except for a small region in western Illinois. Across the Plains and Midwest, hot weather reduced available soil moisture and generated some crop stress, but ample convection kept widespread degradation at bay, and even provided some drought relief to northeastern Colorado, Kansas, and the southern Plains. Drier conditions caused some drought expansion across northeastern Texas, the lower Mississippi Valley, and parts of the northern Plains.
During June, a continuation of enhanced ridging over the central U.S. is anticipated to maintain hot temperatures and subnormal rainfall across much of the central U.S., with the highest probabilities over the central and southern Plains. Given the widespread precipitation deficits already in place at the start of the period, this region is at an enhanced risk for flash drought conditions. Accordingly, this outlook depicts a large area of development over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and northern Colorado. Expansion of drought conditions is also forecast across the middle Mississippi Valley due to the potential for continued heat and near- to below-normal rainfall, but confidence is reduced due to the potential for widespread mesoscale convective system (MCS) thunderstorm activity downstream of the central U.S. ridge. Short term convective rainfall over the northern Plains may bring some relief to ongoing drought across northern and eastern North Dakota, but above-normal temperatures may reduce the potential for more widespread relief. June is a climatologically dry time of year for much of the West, but slow expansion of drought across Oregon is favored due to increased chances for below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures.
No drought is currently indicated or forecast to develop across Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
Forecaster: Adam Allgood
Next Monthly Outlook issued: June 30, 2018 at 3pm EDT
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion