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U.S. Drought Expands by 2 Percent

Posted by feww on September 12, 2013

Lake Altus-Lugert drops to a historic low level of 12.6 percent of capacity: US Drought Monitor 

As of September 10, 2013  about 63.75 percent of land area in the contiguous U.S. was covered by D0-D4 drought conditions, up from 61.71 percent last week, while more than half of the country was in moderate drought condition or worse, with about a third experiencing severe, exceptional or extreme drought levels, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

us drought map 10sep13
US Drought Map as of September 10, released by US Drought Monitor on  September 12, 2013.

2013 Drought Disaster Areas

As of September 11, 2013 at least 1,338 counties and parishes, or 42.41% of all U.S. counties and county equivalents, were designated as agricultural disaster areas due to the ongoing drought.

[Note: The figure includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.]

Drought Summary — Selected Regions — September 10, 2013

[Source: Mirrored from U.S. Drought Monitor with some editing]

  • The Northeast: Continuing dry conditions prompted the introduction of abnormal dryness (D0) across central Maryland, southwestern Connecticut, and Long Island, N.Y., this week. According to AHPS, these areas have significant precipitation deficits at 180-, 90-, 60-, 30-, and 14 days. Streams and rivers are also running low, especially in central Maryland.
  • The Midwest: Most of the Midwest remained dry this past week… Positive temperature departures of 4-8 degrees F were common throughout the region, with +10 degree F anomalies over portions of Iowa and southern Minnesota … widespread 1-category downgrades were made to the drought depiction across northern and southwestern Missouri, southern, central and eastern Iowa, parts of northern Illinois, northeastern and central Indiana, and central and southern portions of both Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • The Lower Mississippi Valley: Lack of rain during the past 7-days, temperatures 2-6 degrees above normal, and stream flow values in the lowest quartile of their historical distributions prompted 1-category degradations to the depiction across northern and western Louisiana, central and southern Arkansas, and northern and central Mississippi.
  • Central and Northern Great Plains: One-category downgrades were warranted across southeastern Nebraska … In Kansas, the area of abnormal dryness (D0) in the northeast was expanded, and D0 conditions were added to southeast parts of the state.
  • Southern Great Plains: Continuing dryness over north-central and northeastern Texas warranted a number of 1-category degradations. Texas, as dry weather has followed a reasonably wet summer in the region. In Oklahoma, 1-category downgrades were made across a significant portion of the state, with remaining drought-free areas in central and eastern Oklahoma deteriorating to abnormal dryness (D0). In Jackson County (southwest part of state)… Lake Altus-Lugert dropped to a historic low level of 12.6 percent of capacity.
  • The Northwest: … the short-term gains have not offset long-term precipitation deficits… no change… in this area.
  • Hawaii: A 1-categorydowngrade was warranted for western and southeastern sides of the Big Island of Hawaii…
    • On the west side, it was reported that livestock and ornamental producers were having to haul water to sustain operations, which is very expensive and significantly reduces profits.
    • On the southeast side of the Island, there were reports of crop stress.
  • Alaska: No changes were made in Alaska this week.

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