According to the National Drought Monitor, beneficial precip the last seven days brought much-needed precipitation to some of the drought areas. Widespread areas of an inch or more of precipitation occurred across the East and parts of the Midwest, with locally 2-plus inches of rain.
"The drought depiction was improved where the heaviest precipitation occurred, but generally the precipitation this week was not enough to ease long-term deficits. Half an inch to an inch of precipitation fell over parts of the Rockies and intermountain basin," it states. "Two inches to over five inches of precipitation occurred over much of the West Coast, but generally not over drought areas. No precipitation was observed over parts of the Southern Plains, northern High Plains, Upper Midwest, and southern Florida."
Over the Plains, a blanket of snow was laid down from south-central Nebraska toward the Great Lakes, but with less than an inch of moisture equivalent, no change was made in Nebraska. "The precipitation largely missed areas to the south, so D3 expanded in southeast Kansas and D2 expanded in southwest Missouri. But D3 was pulled back in central Iowa and D2 contracted in south central Iowa, east central Iowa, and adjacent northwest Illinois where the heaviest precipitation fell," it states.
In its outlook, the monitor notes: "Below-normal temperatures should dominate much of the country as an upper-level trough digs in over the next five days (December 26-30), continuing an active weather pattern with multiple winter storm systems. Precipitation amounts are forecast to be less than an inch across most of the West (except 1.0-1.5 inches along the coast) and parts of the Southeast, but 1.0-2.5 inches from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast. A swath of half-inch precipitation may blanket the northern Plains, but otherwise the Plains should be mostly dry."