|Drought Eases Slightly Across Western U.S.|
March 6, 2014
By WeatherBug's Luke Paris
|Tremendous rainfall and snowfall totals accumulated across much of the Western U.S. last week. Significant reductions of the exceptional and extreme drought were seen across a great deal of California, bringing the first big sign of record-breaking drought relief to the West Coast. The Sierras also saw an increase in snowpack as a slight reduction in the exception drought occurred. A few drought reductions and trimmings were made in the Southwest and Intermountain West from this Pacific storm as well. Further north, continual rain and snow helped ease the lower-level drought in the Pacific Northwest. On the flip side, a severe drought pocket on the eastern side of the Cascades saw a bit of an expansion.|
Scattered snow in the Central Plains prevented any major changes in the drought, but both expansions and reliefs were made to the Southern Plains drought. Southern and eastern Texas saw most of the relief while a few deteriorations were made in the northern and western corridors of Texas. The Lower Mississippi Valley saw limited expansion to the drought due to a concoction of rain and snow slamming the Southern Tier while the Mid and Upper Mississippi valleys saw little to no changes due to lingering arctic air.
The Southeast saw the removal of low-level drought in Florida while a new low-level drought pocket formed in central Alabama. Constant wintry weather and cold air prevented changes in the drought depiction in the Northeast. Next week, steady rainfall is expected for the Pacific Northwest, Northern Great Basin and Northern Rockies. To the south, the rest of the Western U.S. and West Coast will see relatively warm, dry weather. The Eastern U.S. will continue to see mostly cooler air, preventing any crucial alterations to the drought.
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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
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