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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the April 5, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 16.7% of the contiguous United States, an increase from last week’s 15.1%. However, the worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) held steady at 3.8% for a fourth consecutive week.

A large upper-level ridge of high pressure dominated the western contiguous United States this U.S. Drought Monitor week, bringing warmer- and drier-than-normal weather to the West and parts of the Plains. An upper-level trough developed over the eastern contiguous United States, funneling colder Canadian air masses into the East. Pacific weather systems moving through the upper-level flow intensified as they reached the Mississippi Valley and generated above-normal precipitation for the Upper Midwest to Southeast.

The full U.S. Drought Monitor weekly update is available from www.drought.gov.

In addition to Drought.gov, you can find further information on the current drought as well as on this week’s Drought Monitor update at the National Drought Mitigation Center. See their recent news releases.

The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agriculture Outlook Board provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.