Sunday, December 19, 2010

US drought monitor for the southeastern US

From the weekly summary for the Southeast and mid-Atlantic: ....Weekly precipitation totals generally increased from south to north along the East Coast, with light rainfall (0.1 to 0.3 inches) in much of Florida and eastern Georgia and heavy precipitation (2 to 4 inches) in eastern New England. In-between, 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in eastern New Jersey was enough to alleviate the D0, while the 1 to 1.5 inches of precipitation in southeastern Virginia (west of Norfolk) and eastern North Carolina (north of Wilmington) allowed for trimming of the D0 edge.

Similar to the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, the Northeast has also seen increased precipitation since October which has led to drought improvement or removal, as has parts of the Southeast, namely northern sections of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. The trend continued this week in the northern parts of the Southeast as another 1 to 1.5 inches of rain maintained surpluses out to 90-days, resulting in additional trimming of D0-D1 in northern Mississippi, central and northern Alabama, and northern Georgia.

In contrast, subnormal precipitation (weekly totals less than 0.5 inches) in the eastern Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts further degraded conditions. Less than 25 percent of normal precipitation has fallen in portions of eastern Georgia and northern Florida the past 60-days, and since mid-September (90-days), under half of normal rainfall was observed in eastern Georgia and most of north-central Florida. Most USGS average stream flow sites at all time periods (1-, 7-, 14-, and 28-days) were at near or record lows in northern and central Florida, eastern Georgia, and the central Carolinas, while soil moisture indices, blends, and models were depicting percentiles in the lower 5th percentile in eastern Georgia and north-central Florida.

Accordingly, D1-D3 crept northward into eastern Georgia and southeastern South Carolina; the two separate D3 areas in eastern Florida were joined, encompassing the Florida Space Coast; D1 and D2 expanded westward in north-central Florida; D1 extended into Collier County and surrounding areas in southern Florida; D1 slightly expanded eastward in central South Carolina; and the last remaining no drought area was removed in extreme southern Florida....

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