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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for January 3, 2017

January 3, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the January 3, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 22.5% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 24.0%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also decreased from 4.5% last week to 3.2%.

A complex series of fast-moving low pressure systems dominated the winter jet stream over the continental United States this U.S. Drought Monitor week. Pacific storm systems and Canadian cold fronts brought snow to the northern tier states, while low pressure systems and cold fronts tapped Gulf of Mexico moisture to soak many areas in the southern tier states. The resulting above-normal precipitation contracted drought and abnormal dryness in the Southwest and from the Deep South to the Ohio Valley. Precipitation was below normal in between the northern and southern storm tracks, with drought and abnormal dryness expanding from Oklahoma to Missouri.

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.