Washington, DC  20018      10/31/2014
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Drought Update: Possible Relief For The West
October 30, 2014
UPDATED By WeatherBug's Tim Barnes
Downpours hit the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, New England, and portions of the Upper Midwest this past week, which has given much-needed relief to the extensive drought plaguing the country. Yet, even with the brief spits of relief, unusually warm temperatures in the Central U.S. have made recovery efforts difficult.

The Eastern half of the U.S. saw significant rain over New England, with reports of up 2 to 5 inches over parts of Massachusetts, eastern New York and Maine. This much needed rainfall helped to improve the dryness in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine, while drought expansion has taken hold over eastern New York, where the rains just missed.

The Southeast has experienced an unusually warm, dry week, with only portions of Florida receiving wet weather. These conditions allowed the drought to expand into the Carolinas, eastern Alabama, eastern Mississippi, and into the Florida panhandle.

The country`s midsection has been in a relatively warm, dry spell for October. Temperatures 6-to-12 degrees above the norm for the week stretched across the Plains, Midwest and into the South, with only light spits of rain over the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, and portions of the High Plains. Rains seem to have avoided the Mid-South as well, where areas like east Texas and Louisiana reported being 1.5 inches below the normal for rainfall this week. This has created some deep concerns with regards to the long-term drought conditions for the region. Expansion of the drought was seen in the north and west central parts of Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

Fortunately, a series of storms has continued to bring much needed relief to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Improvements from this past week`s recent showers have been seen over southwest Oregon, southwest Montana, and western Washington, with the drought actually being removed from the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington and across the eastern panhandle of Idaho.

Looking ahead, an active weather pattern continues to bring wet weather to the west, cool temperatures to the east, and keeps the Plains and Southwest warm and dry. Downpours look to give some relief to the West Coast with a good amount looking to fall directly over California this weekend. Rains may end up weaseling their way into the Southern Plains and the Midwest into the week, giving much need relief to the drought seen in the South. While dry conditions look to remain over the central and northern Plains, and the Southwest into California in the week ahead.

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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
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