Drought variability across the Heartland
During the previous 30 days, below average rainfall was observed along most of the eastern seaboard and the Appalachians, promoting the expansion of abnormal dryness across the Northeast and parts of the southern Atlantic coastal plain. In contrast, several days of heavy rainfall over the Chesapeake watershed associated with a slow moving coastal storm caused localized flooding. Heavy rainfall also fell across much of Texas, the lower Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio Valley, resulting in drought improvement. Wet weather across the northwestern quadrant of the continental U.S. contrasted with mostly dry weather over the Southwest.
Additional short term drought improvement is possible for eastern and central Texas as a slow moving front brings additional widespread rainfall, although an anticipated seasonal tilt towards abnormal dryness supports drought persistence over the remainder of the Southern Plains.
Drought development is possible across much of the Southwest, while seasonable winter wetness may bring some relief to coastal California and the northern Rockies. Late fall and winter is climatologically dry across the Plains and Midwest, making significant improvements of lingering drought less likely. Incipient dryness across parts of the southern Atlantic coastal plain and enhanced chances of below median precipitation during the November through January period raise the potential for drought development.