The Concordia, Kansas, farmer has only seen two inches of rain fall on his north-central Kansas farm since November of Farm ponds, often the only source of water in pastures and rangelands, are drying up. Herschel George, Kansas State University Research and Extension watershed specialist based in eastern Kansas, said there are a lot of different ways to provide water to grazing livestock.
Drought Monitor drought map valid May 1, Like the last several months, the upper-level circulation pattern was quite active during April with ridge and trough patterns migrating through the jet stream flow over the CONUS.
The monthly averaged circulation pattern ended up consisting of a slight long-wave ridge in the West and trough in the Eastwith colder-than-normal temperatures across most of the CONUS east of the Rockies and warmer-than-normal temperatures temperatures in the Southwest.
The upper-level lows and troughsand their associated surface lows and frontal systemsbrought above-normal precipitation to parts of the Far West and northern Rockies to northern High Plains, and across the Lower Mississippi Valley to Appalachians, and along the East Coast.
But the westerly flow dried out the Pacific systems as the crossed the coastal mountain ranges, resulting in drier-than-normal conditions across the Southwest to interior West, most of the Great Plains, and Mid- to Upper Mississippi Valley.
The dry conditions during April were a continuation of persistent dryness since October in the southern High Plains to central Plains, and for much of the last 12 months in the Four Corners States Standardized Precipitation Index maps for the last 1236912 months.
Drought and abnormal dryness contracted in the Far West and Southeast where April precipitation was above normal, and in the northern Plains where the last few months have seen improving moisture conditions.
But drought and abnormal dryness expanded or intensified where the dry conditions continued, especially from the Southwest and southern Plains to Mid-Mississippi Valley.
Contraction outweighed expansion again this month, but just barely, so the USDM-based national moderate-to-exceptional drought footprint across the CONUS shrank from According to the Palmer Drought Indexwhich goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, about Drought conditions at the end of the month, as depicted on the May 1st, USDM map, included the following core drought and abnormally dry areas: Above-normal precipitation improved conditions in California and Nevada in March, so the Palmer percent area in drought shrank to April was wet in northern California and northwest Nevada, and Washington to the northern Rockies, but extremely dry conditions across the rest of the Westespecially the Southwestexpanded the drought area to The D3-D4 areas are regions which have experienced the most severe precipitation deficits over the last six months based on the Standardized Precipitation Index maps for the last 1236 monthsand for some parts, the last 9 to 12 months.
Abnormal dryness to severe drought continued in the northern Plains and the High Plains of Montana. Abnormal dryness to severe drought lingered in the Southeastand abnormal dryness to moderate drought D1 lingered in the Mid-Atlantic states.
Abnormal dryness and moderate drought expanded in parts of the Midwest Iowa-Missouriwhile abnormal dryness contracted in other parts western Great Lakes.
Moderate drought was eliminated in the Alaska panhandlebut abnormal dryness continued there and in south central Alaska. Palmer Drought Index The Palmer drought indices measure the balance between moisture demand evapotranspiration driven by temperature and moisture supply precipitation.
The PDSI map shows less severe and extensive drought as well as wet spell conditions in some parts of the country than the PHDI map because the meteorological conditions that produce drought and wet spell conditions are not as long-lasting as the hydrological impacts.
Used together, the Palmer Z Index and PHDI maps show that short-term dry conditions continued across the Southwest to southern Plains, expanding and intensifying previous long-term drought.
Short-term dry conditions occurred in parts of the northern Plains, expanding previous long-term drought. Short-term wet conditions occurred in the Pacific Northwest and northern California, as well as parts of the Southeast, shrinking previous long-term drought.
The SPI maps here show the spatial extent of anomalously wet and dry areas at time scales ranging from 1 month to 24 months.
The SPI maps illustrate how moisture conditions have varied considerably through time and space over the last two years. Dryness across the southern and central Plains to the Southwest is evident on the 1- to 6-month maps, from the Southwest to California and Oregon on the 9- to month maps, and in parts of the Southwest Four Corners States at 24 months.
Dryness can be seen in the northern Plains at every time scale from 1 month to 24 months. The western parts of the Midwest Iowa to the western Great Lakes have some degree of dryness at 1 to 2 months and 6 to 12 months. Some areas of dryness are evident in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions at 2 to 12 months, with widespread dryness in the Southeast at 6 and 24 months.
Parts of the Northeast show dryness at 6, 9, and 24 months. Regional Discussion Map of percent of normal precipitation for Hawaii, April April was wetter than normal at most of the Hawaiian stations. The month was so wet that a wetter-than-normal signal dominated for most of the time periods last 23467101224and 36 months.
Dryness was evident at some stations at the longer time scales last 24 and 36 months.Drought continued in parts of North America through Beginning in March , improved rainfall across the Midwest, southern Mississippi Valley, and Great Plains began gradually alleviating drought in these areas, while drought continued to intensify in the Western United States.
Sep 18, · Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 23 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of June , Drought and abnormal dryness contracted in other parts of the Plains and parts of the Midwest.
Karl Jacobson, like many farmers in drought-affected areas, wants it to rain. The Concordia, Kansas, farmer has only seen two inches of rain fall on his north-central Kansas farm since.
Midwest Drought Summary. Slow-moving bands of showers and thunderstorms trained over the same locations (from northeastern Kansas/southeastern Nebraska into most of Missouri, southern and eastern Iowa, northern Illinois, southern half of Wisconsin, and western lower Michigan) last week, dumping copious amounts of rain.
The Drought Monitor summary map identifies general areas of drought and labels them by intensity. D1 is the least intense level and D4 the most intense. Drought is defined as a moisture deficit bad enough to have social, environmental or economic effects.
The severe drought gripping different areas of the Midwest has crippled agriculture in these locations; livestock producers are being forced to find alternative sources of water for their grazing livestock.