U.S. Drought Monitor Update for May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the May 3, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 14.6% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 15.4%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) held steady at 3.4% for a third week.

Large and slow-moving upper-level low pressure systems rotated out of the West and across the eastern contiguous United States this U.S. Drought Monitor week, dragging storm systems and cold fronts along with them. Precipitation was above normal from the Southwest to Central Plains, and along the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys to Mid-Atlantic Coast, shrinking drought and abnormally dry areas in its wake. But, continued drier-than-normal weather in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Southeast resulted in expansion of drought and abnormally dry conditions.

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.