University of Nebraska-Lincoln Drought Monitor: National drought summary for Jan. 5
January 11, 2016
Most of the Midwest was warmer than normal for the week, with the greatest departures, of 9-12 degrees above normal, in the northern areas of the region. The Midwest was also dry, with only isolated light precipitation. The recent shift to a wetter regime led to improvements to the moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions that existed in southern Michigan, northern Indiana and Ohio. The moderate drought conditions were removed from all of the region and the abnormally dry conditions were reduced in what amounted to a full-category improvement for much of the region.
The weather pattern remains active over the West and the temperatures are very seasonal, cooler than the last two winters. There has been good snow accumulation in the upper elevations and rain in the lower elevations. For this week, improvements were made in eastern Washington and Oregon, where most areas to the east of Cascade Mountains had a full-category reduction in drought intensity, with moderate to severe drought lingering. Prolonged dryness led to expansion of drought in northern Wyoming and southeast Montana. This area has not been as fortunate and dryness has lingered since autumn, so D0 and D1 expanded this week, pushing moderate drought into southeast Montana. California sees a good start to the current water year bringing optimism to the region.