According to the National Drought Monitor, 50.89% of the contiguous U.S. is covered by some form of drought, which is around a one-percentage-point improvement from last week. Still, slight drought expansion was noted across the South. Very minor improvement was noted across the West and High Plains.
The monitor notes that isolated rain fell across eastern Kansas and Nebraska, prompting only a small trimming of D0 over eastern Kansas. "Over central Nebraska, where not rain fell, D2 was expanded over Lincoln County. North Platte Regional Airport Lee Bird Field is approaching 3 inches below average for the year and has also not seen more than 0.50 inch of rain at one time since May 29," it notes.
"Farther south and west, some rains fell across eastern New Mexico and western Texas. The maximum radar estimated precipitation (4.0 inches) was significantly greater than what was reported at individual stations (1.2 inches), so improvements were not as widespread as when the data sources exhibit better alignment. D4 (exceptional drought) was removed from portions of Harding and San Miguel counties in New Mexico, with slightly larger areas of extreme drought (D3) reduction across western Texas and southeast New Mexico (Yoakum County area). Across eastern and southern Texas, southern Oklahoma, southwest Arkansas, and northwestern Louisiana, dry conditions prompted the expansion and intensification of drought conditions. Streamflows across much of the southern Plains are well below normal, with many stations reporting at or below the 5th percentile," it adds.
The forecast for the next 5 days (July 3-7) favors wet weather across most of the eastern half of the nation, with heavy rains forecast from the Gulf Coast to the Central Appalachians and portions of the Northeast. "Some rains associated with the southwest monsoon are also likely during the next 5 days. Generally, less than 1.0 inches of rain is forecast across the Great Plains and Pacific Northwest," notes the monitor.