Winter is likely to offer little relief to the drought-stricken U.S. Southwest, and drought is likely to develop across parts of the Southeast as below-average precipitation is favored in these areas of the country, according to NOAA’s annual Winter Outlook recently announced.
With an amplified upper air pattern over the continental United States, a large scale ridge is expected over the Inter-Mountain West and West Coast, and a trough over the Eastern U.S. This will generally equate to relatively warm and dry weather west of the Rocky Mountains, and the coolest weather of the fall season for the Midwest states to the East Coast. Periods of cold showers are expected for locations near the Great Lakes during the next few days, and this could become mixed with snow at times, especially during the overnight hours. Across the southern tier, a frontal boundary stalled out over Florida and back into the Gulf of Mexico will serve as a focusing mechanism for showers and thunderstorms during the short range period.
For the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.
After a wet week across much of the central and eastern United States, drought receded to its smallest spatial extent since May 2012 on the Oct. 15 U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought in the western states was mostly unchanged.
The map shows just 36.71 percent of the contiguous United States in moderate drought or worse, compared with 38.59 percent a week earlier. The last time drought coverage was this low was May 29, 2012, at 37.37 percent.
Drought eased incrementally across the Midwest, Great Plains and South, including parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Colorado and Wyoming also had areas of improvement. An exception to the general improvement was a small area in central Arkansas that got worse.
The average temperature for the contiguous United States during the summer season (June-August) was 72.6°F, 1.2°F above the 20th-century average, say NOAA scientists. The average August temperature was 73.1°F; it was the 28th warmest August on record for the Lower 48. Alaska also had its second warmest summer.
NOAA recently issued its updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – mid-August through October – yet to come.
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 74.3°F, 0.8°F above the 20th century average, according to NOAA scientists. The West and Northeast were warmer than average, while the central and southeastern U.S. were cooler than average. Further north, Alaska experienced its 5th warmest July on record.
A stationary front will continue to bring showers and thunderstorms to the Southeast on Monday. The rain will continue across the area through mid-week, brining a threat of flooding across the region.
Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms will also be prevalent across much of the Great Basin and Southwest, as well as parts of California on Monday.
According to NOAA scientists, the Lower-48 states experienced the 15th warmest and 13th wettest June on record. The East was wet, while drought and wildfires impacted the West. It was also the third warmest June on record for Alaska.
According to NOAA scientists, the average temperature for the contiguous United States during March 2013 was 40.8°F, 0.9°F below the 20th century average.
It was the 43rd coolest March on record. Colder temperatures dominated east of the Rockies, and warm conditions prevailed in the West.