The latest Drought Monitor map for the continental United States looks very different now than it has in recent years: the west, especially California, is quite moist, while portions of the central Gulf Coast are dealing with extreme drought conditions.
While small portions of extreme northern and southern California see some abnormally dry conditions, the state is free of any drought condition. The same isn’t true for portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama where extreme or exceptional drought conditions persist.
Several recording stations from Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee recorded less than 1/2″ of rain for the month of October with dryness that was comparable to records set in 2016 and 1963. Fire alerts were reinstated for all 67 counties in Alabama with no burn permits being issued for any county in northern portions of the state. The Mississippi River at Memphis remains near historic low-water thresholds, impacting barge traffic. Nashville ended up with just 0.73 inches of rain for October, with 0.43 taking place on October 30.
With the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season drawing to a close at the end of the month, the odds of a soaking tropical cyclone to bring much needed rainfall to the region is dwindling.