As May ends, the Drought Monitor improves as soaking rains have impacted a large part of the country. Only 4.5% of continental US is currently experiencing drought conditions which is the lowest weekly percentage since drought monitor began in 2000.
The last week has brought soaking rains , even to areas still facing significant drought issues in the southeastern US. The central portions of the Rockies and Plains into the upper Midwest saw substantial rains from May 16-18 with the area of precipitation shifting to the southeast on May 20. Drought-affected areas of the Southeast, including portions of Alabama and Georgia, experienced substantial relief, with rain still falling when the drought-monitoring period ended on May 23. The benefits from the rain that fell after May 23 will be shown in next week’s map. Meanwhile, a late-season heavy snowfall, where 1-3′ of snow fell, along with low-elevation rains helped boost ground water in the central Rockies.
While rain in portions of the southeast received beneficial rain, Florida and Georgia remain extremely dry. Even with recent rainfall there, drought conditions are likely to persist until more soaking rains quench the region.