Fire Earth

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U.S. Drought Expands for 4th Week

Posted by feww on July 11, 2013

South driest in weeks, as drought persists in West

“Moderate” to “Exceptional” drought areas (designated D1 to D4 on the chart) in lower 48 expanded to 44.85 percent, up from 44.06 percent a week ago, according to the US Drought Monitor.

D1 to D4 drought areas in the South covered about 54.97 percent of the region, up from 49.62 percent a week ago.

us drough map - 9july 2013
US Drought Map as of July 9, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on  July 11, 2013.

Selected Highlight of National Drought Summary – July 9, 2013

The Central and Southern Plains, and Lower Mississippi River Valley:  Dry conditions persisted across most of the southern Great Plains and Lower Mississippi River Valley. 

D0 was expanded to cover much of Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana … In a reassessment of conditions over Arkansas, a 2-category degradation (introduction of D1, moderate drought, where no drought was indicated in the previous map) was included as SPI-3, SPI6, and USGS (United States Geological Survey) real-time, 7-, and 14-day stream flows all indicated a rapid drying of the area. 

  • Much of the same conditions were present across Oklahoma and Texas, so drought conditions intensified over those two states. 
  • D2 (severe drought), D1 (moderate drought) and D0 (abnormal dryness) were expanded across much of eastern Texas. 
  • Brazosport Water Authority implemented Stage 3 of its Drought Contingency Plan.   
  • Inflows into the Lower Colorado River have trickled down to 10 cfs (from the Llano River) with Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan at 35 and 37 percent of capacity, respectively.  
  • Medina Lake, near San Antonio is down to 5 percent capacity.  
  • … across Oklahoma and southeastern Colorado, reports indicate sage brush and large trees dying and even some cacti turning brown. These reports come from the areas that have been in D4 (exceptional drought) for quite some time. 
  • The percent of topsoil reports as short or very short from the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) across Texas increased by 13 percentage point, while it increased by 25 percentage points across Oklahoma.

Southwest and West: Some monsoon moisture streamed northward over the Southwest, making it as far north as the Great Salt Lake, bringing isolated rains to Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The heaviest rains (1.0 – 2.6 inches) were confined to southeastern Arizona and the highest of terrain in central New Mexico, therefore the rains had little impact on the drought in New Mexico.  US Drought Monitor

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