U.S. Drought Monitor Update for March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the March 1, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 14.3% of the contiguous United States, a slight decrease from last week’s 14.6%.  The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) held steady at 4.1% for a third week.

Weather systems moving in the upper-level flow this U.S. Drought Monitor week generated fronts and low pressure systems, which brought above-normal precipitation to parts of the South and Southern Plains, Midwest, and East Coast. But, ridging in the upper atmosphere deflected or weakened weather systems as they moved across the West and Central Plains to Upper Mississippi Valley, resulting in a drier-than-normal week. Temperatures averaged warmer than normal this week, except in the Southern Plains to Southeast where a strong low pressure system and front early in the week contributed to below-normal temperatures.

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.