According to the June 20, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to extreme drought covers 7.0% of the contiguous United States, a slight decrease from last week’s 7.3%. After two weeks, extreme drought crept back into the Lower 48. But, exceptional drought—the worst category—continued to remain absent for the 22nd consecutive week.
The jet stream shifted to the northern states during this U.S. Drought Monitor week, while high pressure dominated the southwestern third of the contiguous United States. The high pressure brought hot temperatures to the Southwest and drier-than-normal weather to much of the West and Plains states.
Low pressure troughs and cool fronts funneled tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the eastern contiguous United States, with above-normal precipitation falling mostly along and east of the Mississippi River. The wet weather resulted in contraction of drought and abnormal dryness in the Midwest and Southeast. But, drought and abnormal dryness expanded in parts of the Plains and Southwest where dry weather this week extended a pattern of dryness that has lasted for the last several months.
In addition to Drought.gov, you can find further information on the current drought as well as on this week’s Drought Monitor update at the National Drought Mitigation Center. See their recent news releases.
The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.