Drought Monitor: Some Improvement in Upper Midwest

May 31, 2012 02:40 AM

According to the National Drought Monitor, highly beneficial rains fell across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, while hot, dry conditions lead to further topsoil moisture depletion in the Southern Plains.


The monitor notes that heavy rain soaked the Upper Midwest, easing or eradicating dryness (D0) and drought (D1). Some of the heaviest rain drenched Minnesota, where 2- to 4-inch totals were common. Meanwhile, dryness (D0) and moderate drought (D1) continued to develop and expand across the central and eastern Corn Belt, it notes.

midwest dm052912

Parts of the central and southern Plains experienced worsening conditions due to heat, wind, and short-term dryness. On May 22 in Nebraska, Chadron (99°F), Alliance (98°F), and Sidney (98°F) set all-time May records. Elsewhere in Nebraska, Scottsbluff (100°F on May 22) experienced its earliest triple-digit heat on record, previously established with a high of 100°F on May 28, 1934. In Kansas, daily-record highs for May 23 soared to 100°F in Dodge City and 98°F in Russell. Later, Hastings, Nebraska (100°F on May 26), recorded its earliest triple-digit reading, previously established with a high of 105°F on May 29, 1934.

south dm052912

In the outlook for May 31 through June 4, the monitor notes a developing storm currently over the south-central U.S. will drift northeastward to a position north of the Great Lakes during the weekend. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the central and southern Plains into the Northeast. Meanwhile, building heat across the West will shift into the nation’s mid-section by early next week. The Midwest, South, and East will experience a significant break from the heat that peaked during the Memorial Day weekend.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 5-9 calls for above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the middle and northern Atlantic States and areas along the Pacific Coast, while wetter-than-normal weather will be limited to the Mid-Atlantic coast and across the nation’s northern tier from the Pacific Northwest to the Red River Valley.


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