n this week’s Drought Monitor update, drought conditions have improved over the southeastern US where the most severe drought conditions in the US persisted over the last several months. Florida, especially the southern portion of the state, saw a complete elimination of the drought from recent soaking, heavy rains.
While drought conditions have improved in the southeast, they are getting worse over the Dakotas. After a dry and hot early June, a system finally tracked across the northern Plains, somewhat lowering temperatures but finally bringing 1-3″ of rain to parts of the Dakotas by the end of the week. For the most part, the rains were not great enough to make sizeable improvements to the drought, but where 1.5 or more inches fell, especially in eastern sections of the Dakotas, drought was reduced. For example, 2-4 inches of rain fell on portions of Spink, Clark, and Codington counties in South Dakota, allowing for a 1-category improvement there. Even with the recent rainfall in the Dakotas, it will take a while for the vegetation to respond to the moisture.
More snow fell over the mountains of northern California over the last 7 days, further building upon very deep snowpack there. While a severe drought was impacting California this time last year, severe drought conditions in most of the state have disappeared. Only moderate drought conditions exist over the southernmost part of the state.
In the northeast, there’s no sign of drought: a very wet May and June have eliminated any concern for drought across the Mid Atlantic and New England.