For the most part, drought conditions have improved over much of the United States over the last week, as a series of weather systems have kept the country rather wet or white from coast to coast. And while significant drought conditions do continue in many parts of the country, this week marks the first time since March 29, 2011 that no part of the United States was under an “Exceptional Drought” designation by the Drought Monitor.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each week they update drought conditions across the entire country. Results are tabulated and mapped each Tuesday and shared the following Thursday.
Like the previous week, January 17-24, 2017 featured moderate to widespread heavy precipitation across many of the nation’s areas of dryness and drought, prompting another round of broad-scale improvements. There are a few areas that missed recent precipitation, leading to intensification of dryness and drought, but they were few and far between. These drier areas include the leeward parts of Hawaii, the southernmost portions of Texas, patches near the Middle Mississippi Valley, southern Delaware, and portions of central Maryland.