U.S. Drought Monitor Update for August 16, 2016

April 16, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the August 16, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 19.9% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 21.8%. However, the worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) increased slightly from 2.8% last week to 2.9%.

A warm and dry subtropical high pressure ridge continued across much of the southern and eastern contiguous United States this U.S. Drought Monitor week, keeping the storm track along the northern tier states. But, a low pressure center with tropical moisture developed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and meandered slowly westward beneath the subtropical high, dumping above-normal precipitation along the Gulf Coast and flooding rains across parts of Louisiana.

A strong low pressure system in the jet stream flow dragged a cold front from the northern storm track across the western and central United States, bringing cooler-than-normal temperatures behind it. The cold front stalled as it bumped up against the subtropical high, providing an important trigger for above-normal rainfall from the Southern Plains to Northeast.

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

For additional drought information, follow #DroughtMonitor on Facebook and Twitter.