U.S. Drought Monitor Update for January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the January 10, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 20.8% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 22.5%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also decreased from 3.2% last week to 2.6%.

An “atmospheric river” of tropical moisture inundated California with heavy precipitation this U.S. Drought Monitor week, bringing drought reduction but also major flooding. Weather systems in the strong westerly jet stream flow carried the moisture across much of the West, with drought contracting in the intermountain basin and Central Rockies. But, the weather systems dried out as they reached the Central to Southern Plains, where continued below-normal precipitation resulted in drought expansion. Gulf of Mexico moisture rejuvenated the weather systems as they crossed the Southeast, with their rains continuing to improve drought conditions there. Most of the country was colder than normal this week, due to a large Arctic air mass that eventually exited the contiguous United States to glide over the Atlantic.

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.