Moderate to Severe Drought Develops in the Tri State Area

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THE PAST SIX MONTHS IN THE TRI STATE AREA WERE EXTREMELY DRY. AFTER
A RELATIVELY WET SPRING AND SUMMER...UPPER LEVEL WIND PATTERNS
SHIFTED WHICH RESULTED IN THE MAIN STORM TRACK MOVING OVER THE
NORTHERN PLAINS. THE ULTIMATE CAUSE FOR THIS PATTERN CHANGE WAS
PROBABLY LA NINA...WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH COOLER THAN NORMAL WATER
TEMPERATURES IN THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC OCEAN. LA NINA IMPACTS WINTER
PRECIPITATION PATTERNS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA...WITH BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION USUALLY OCCURRING FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA...THE
DESERT SOUTHWEST...THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL ROCKIES...AND
OCCASIONALLY THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS. THE CURRENT
DROUGHT BEGAN IN THE COLORADO FRONT RANGE IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
OF LAST YEAR. IT SPREAD EASTWARD INTO THE HIGH PLAINS IN NOVEMBER
WITH MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS AS FAR AS WEST CENTRAL KANSAS.
SEVERE DROUGHT WAS FIRST NOTED IN LATE NOVEMBER AND EARLY DECEMBER
IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER BASIN OF SOUTHEAST COLORADO...AND SEVERE
DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE GRADUALLY SPREAD INTO WESTERN KANSAS THROUGH
JANUARY DUE TO CONTINUED BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.
 
 

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Latest Seasonal Assessment - The drought outlook for January 20, 2011 – April 2011 was based largely upon climate anomalies associated with a La Niña as it is expected to persist throughout the period. Drought is forecast to continue across the southeastern U.S. with development expected in coastal South Carolina. Drought persistence is also forecast across southern parts of Louisiana and southeast Texas, while improvement or some improvement is anticipated in northeast Texas, northern Louisiana, Arkansas, and the lower Ohio Valley. During the past month, drought has expanded across the central and southern Plains, west Texas, and southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico. Drought persistence and additional development can be expected in the southwestern U.S. and the central/southern Plains. Drought relief has recently occurred in Hawaii, courtesy of winter rains associated with La Niña. Continued improvement is forecast for the Hawaiian Islands.

 

 

Latest Drought Information Statement (text version)

 



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