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Storm Central
Rain Helps Southwest; Northeast Drought Worries Grow
September 26, 2014
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill
A soggy western U.S. pattern and a Deep South frontal system helped lessen drought concerns for both regions in the past seven days. Meanwhile, lack of rain is taking a toll on southern New England`s water supply.
Hurricane Odile`s remnant moisture helped West Texas make leaps and strides with its rain deficit. Amounts reached 18.24 inches in Gail while the Guadalupe Mountains National Park registered more than a foot of rain. This helped improve topsoil and subsoil moisture in the Lone-Star State last week.
The Southwest benefited from Hurricane Odile as well. Southeast Arizona into southern New Mexico had at least 2 inches of rain, with 10.48 inches falling in Carlsbad, N.M. This allowed moderate drought to diminish a bit and allowed southeast New Mexico to be free of drought. Rain from Hurricane Odile did not reach as far east as northeast Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Here, 20% of the pastures and rangeland are rated in poor to very poor condition.
The Mountain West had welcome rain last week. Monsoon showers helped to shrink the moderate to severe drought coverage in eastern Nevada, southwest Colorado and northern Utah. Otherwise, the few showers that dotted California`s landscape did nothing to overcome the low reservoir levels and dry wells.
A stalled front squeezed out 1 to 3 inches of rain in parched southeastern Georgia and northern Florida. Central Alabama and the Carolinas weren`t as lucky though. Here, dryness expanded from last week`s report.
Meanwhile, the recent dry stretch is starting to take a toll on the Northeast. A water conservation alert was declared in Manchester, Conn., due to the reservoir being below 80% of its capacity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates 26% of the topsoil and 20% of the subsoil in New England was dry to very dry. Therefore, moderate drought was added to southern New England and the abnormally dry region expanded into northern Maine.
September rain deficits continue to climb in southwestern Pennsylvania and southern Maryland. Johnstown, Pa., is more than 1.50 inches below average for the month while Salisbury, Md., is 9.70 inches below for the year, despite a wetter than average September.
Dry weather expanded into east-central Missouri while above-average rain did very little to change the extreme dryness across southern and western Kansas. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 55% of the topsoil and 64% of the subsoil in Kansas has limited available moisture.
Looking ahead, low pressure will sweep into the West, bringing much needed rain from California to the Great Basin, Southwest and Mountain West. A Midwest low pressure will help increase rain coverage across parts of the dry Southeast while rain will miss parched southern New England. The Southern Plains won`t get any help from Mother Nature either as the western storm gets deflected into the northern Plains early next week.
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Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
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