Latest Seasonal Assessment -
After a phenomenal wet season for California and other parts of the western contiguous U.S. this winter, the climatological dry season is approaching. Any lingering pockets of moderate drought or abnormal dryness are expected to persist during the April-May-June (AMJ) 2017 season. Across the central portion of the Lower 48 states, 35-50 percent of the annual precipitation received typically comes during this season, favoring large areas of drought improvement/removal. Exceptions may include from central Colorado southeastward to central Oklahoma, where drought persistence is considered more likely. Drought development is favored for far eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle area. Drought improvement/removal is also forecast for the Florida peninsula, with the climatological onset of their rainy season expected near the end of May. CPC's precipitation outlooks for both April and AMJ favor increased odds of above-median precipitation across much of the Lower Mississippi Valley, supporting drought improvement/removal in that region. Drought improvement/removal is also anticipated across Missouri and surrounding areas, though with lower confidence. In the Southeast, northernmost areas of the long-term drought area may see some improvement/removal, as this area is expected to be close enough to passing storm systems. Southern portions of this drought region are considered more likely to persist. In the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, recent heavy precipitation and the forecast passage of occasional low pressure systems favors the improvement/removal of drought. In Hawaii, the only remaining drought area (on the Big Island) is favored to persist, as the climatological dry season sets in.
Forecaster: Anthony Artusa
Next Seasonal Outlook issued: April 20, 2017 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion