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U.S. Drought Monitor - Southern Plains DEWS
As of March 21, 2017
|Three Months Ago|
|Start of Calendar Year|
|One Year Ago|
Conditions for the week of March 15-21
In eastern Kansas, 90-day precipitation less than 50 percent of normal (locally less than 30 percent) continued to deplete soil moisture, resulting in the expansion of Moderate Drought (D1). Rain will be needed soon everywhere east of the Rockies to prevent a rapid intensification of drought as winter wheat continues to break dormancy and soil moisture requirements increase. The same held true in Oklahoma, where weekly average temperatures up to 10°F above normal (locally higher in the Panhandle) and persistent dryness (6-month rainfall averaging 50 to 70 percent of normal) led to an increase in Severe Drought (D2).
In Texas. the short-term trend toward increasing dryness and drought continued, though some benefits from recent rain were noted in the south. In Deep South Texas and along the Gulf Coast, two-week rainfall of 2 to 6 inches resulted in widespread reductions of Abnormal Dryness (D0). In contrast, unseasonable warmth (10-15°F above normal) and dryness (60-day rainfall at 30 to 50 percent of normal) led to widespread expansion of abnormal dryness (D0) from Amarillo to Lubbock. Similarly, 60-day rainfall less than 30 percent of normal led to the introduction of D1 in north-central portions of the state. The northeastern corner of Texas has also seen some of the driest conditions over the past 60 days, with precipitation totaling less than 50 percent of normal (locally less than 20 percent); consequently, D1 was expanded to reflect the pronounced short-term dryness.