A large part of the nation’s midsection is likely to remain in drought at least through the end of April, according to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook. It was released by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) earlier this month.
The outlook map, predicting drought conditions from Feb. 7 through April 30, shows they are likely to persist or intensify in much of the central and southern Great Plains region, along with parts of the Southeast and the Great Basin. CPC looks for drought to develop in much of Florida and parts of West Texas.
The map also shows that most of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa can expect drought improvement over the next several months. The Four Corners of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, along with areas of Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota and Montana, could see “some improvement.”
According to the University of Nebraska’s U.S. Drought Monitor map for Feb. 5, 58% of the continental U.S. was experiencing some level of drought. The drought is most severe in the Central Plains with parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma classified as being in exceptional drought.
In early September, more than 65% of the continental U.S. was experiencing some level of drought. That was the highest percentage of the country in drought at any one time since the Drought Monitor was launched in 1999.