U.S. Drought Monitor Update for December 13, 2016
According to the December 13, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 29.8% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 30.4%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also decreased from 5.3% last week to 5.0%.
Northerly flow, associated with a strong upper-level low pressure system over Canada, funneled blasts of cold arctic air into the contiguous United States during this U.S. Drought Monitor week. Cold fronts and low pressure systems moving in the jet stream flow over the United States brought areas of precipitation to parts of the West and from the Mid- and Upper-Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. The below-freezing air kept a blanket of snow cover across the northern tier states. The week was drier than normal across the southern tier states and into the Central Plains, and across parts of the Midwest and Northeast.
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.