|By the end of October,
drought was concentrated in the Dakotas, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma
and in northeastern Minnesota. Conditions had improved in the
Southeast from eastern Texas through Mississippi (October 31 Drought
Monitor). In the drought areas, soil
moisture was low, evaporation
was high, vegetative
health was fair to poor, and
streamflow was low.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that federal
disaster loans were available to small, non-farm,
agriculture-dependent businesses located in 204 Texas counties.
These disaster loans are intended to offset economic losses because
of reduced revenue to farmers and ranchers caused by severe drought
conditions, above normal temperatures and wildfires. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture designated 12 Texas counties agricultural
disaster areas, due to losses sustained from continuing drought
conditions. In South Dakota the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has
shortened this year's barge navigation season along portions of the
Missouri River by 44 days because of sustained drought conditions
and associated low water flows. All counties in Wyoming and most in
Missouri have been designated primary or contiguous natural
disaster areas thereby allowing farmers and ranchers to apply for
low interest loans from the Farm Service Agency. Impacts in
drought-stricken areas have been collected and summarized by county
at the National Drought Mitigation Center's
Drought Impact Reporter.
The October precipitation pattern at the primary stations in
was above average across the interior of the state; most of the
coastal stations were below average. In Hawaii
dryness continued throughout most the western half of the State.
Except for the northwestern coast, Puerto
Rico was predominantly dry (based on National
Weather Service radar estimates of precipitation).
Some regional highlights:
- Throughout the U.S., the month was wetter than in previous
months, but some states experienced the tenth percentile of
precipitation, or drier, multi-month seasons (August-October,
soil moisture conditions, based on model computations (CPC-1,
MRCC), were drier than average across the Plains, along the
northwestern coast and in Florida.