Monday, November 22, 2010

U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook: Nov. 18, 2010-Feb. 2011

The very strong La Niña would be expected to lead to drought conditions from Texas through the Southeast.
Here's the current assessment from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center:

United States Seasonal Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
(Click on image to enlarge)
And the commentary:

Latest Seasonal Assessment - Drought continued to slowly expand and locally intensify in a broad area across the southern and southeastern states, the lower Mississippi Valley, and the lower Ohio Valley northward through Indiana and southern Michigan. Based on the Seasonal Outlook for December 2010 - January 2011, which relies primarily on climate anomalies typically observed during La Niña episodes, drought persistence and broad expansion is expected from central and southern Texas eastward along and near the Gulf Coast through the southern Atlantic Seaboard. 

Chances for drought improvement increase away from the coastal plains, with some improvement forecast across the upper South, and broad-scale improvement expected from southern portions of the middle Mississippi Valley through the lower Ohio Valley and points north. As in areas farther east, the drought region in northeastern Arizona is forecast to persist and expand, covering large sections of the southern Four Corners region by the end of February. The recently-expanded drought across the central High Plains is also expected to persist through this period, which is their driest time of year climatologically. 

Farther west, limited drought improvement is expected across central Nevada, but more substantial improvement seems likely in western Wyoming and across the drought region in northeast California, southern Oregon, and adjacent areas. In Hawaii, the seasonal increase in rainfall and a modest tilt of the odds toward a wetter than normal winter season should bring limited improvement to the areas affected by drought, but the large, long-term precipitation shortages recorded in these areas will likely preclude any widespread, substantial improvement by the end of the period.
Forecasters: R. Tinker
Next Outlook issued: December 2, 2010 at 8:30 AM EDT
Seasonal Drought Outlook Discussion