According to the latest Drought Monitor update, drought conditions are expanding across the United States. Conditions are most extreme in central Texas where beneficial rains from tropical systems this season didn’t reach far inland. The southeast is also especially dry, with George and South Carolina seeing moderate to severe drought conditions.
According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, “Rapidly intensifying ‘flash drought’ — attributed in part to extreme late-summer heat — continued to afflict many areas from the lower Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States to the Gulf Coast. Conversely, heavy to excessive rainfall associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda eradicated drought but caused locally catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas and western Louisiana. Farther west, late-season showers on the heels of an abysmal Southwestern monsoon (to-date) helped stem drought increases in the Four Corners region, while rain and mountain snow further reduced lingering drought in the northwestern quarter of the nation. Meanwhile, additional moderate to heavy rain eased or alleviated dryness and drought from the Northwest into the Great Lakes. ”
While the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season has passed, the season remains through the end of November; it’s possible some future storms could soak portions of the East Coast or Gulf Coast before the season ends. Otherwise, dry conditions will persist in much of the south central and eastern United States with no significant relief expected in the near future.