The National Drought Monitor reflects improvements in the drought situation across northern and central Texas due to a recent precip event. Widespread rains contributed to improving drought conditions across Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. Recent rains prompted the removal of D1 and D0 from western Missouri and portions of eastern Kansas, states the monitor.
"According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, across the eastern 2 tiers of counties in Oklahoma, reservoirs are now full, so runoff is occurring with rains. Further west, rains have helped but the length and intensity of the current drought is hard to overcome in a short period. Central and most of western Oklahoma saw no change in lake levels," states the monitor." Canton Lake remained virtually unchanged at 29 percent of capacity; while Thunderbird Lake was steady at 75 percent of capacity and Altus-Lugert is at 18 percent of capacity."
However, the monitor notes that a lack of precipitation for at least the past 60 days contributed to the expansion of moderate drought conditions across North Dakota and Minnesota. According to the preliminary data, Fargo, ND has experienced the second driest September - December period.
In its outlook for December 22-26, the monitor states a cold front is expected to linger across the southeast. "A cold front is expected to move across the northern portions of contiguous 48 states later this week and settle along the southeast coast," it states. "The western portions of the cold front are expected to move southward along the Rockies and bring rain and snow to the mountains. Two low-pressure systems are expected to move along the over the southeast, bringing significant rains from the Central Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic before high pressure builds in from the west."