Persistent above-normal temperatures in the Plains this past week contributed to excessive evapotranspiration in western portions of the Great Plains as well as parts of the West, according to today's Drought Monitor report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
With the lack of precipitation and windy conditions, drought indicators such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) showed dry conditions at long-term time scales in the West to northern Plains, at short-term time scales in the Southeast to Mid-Atlantic and Lower Mississippi Valley regions, and both short- and long-term time scales from the Southwest to southern and central Plains.
Precipitation over the last four weeks lessened drought intensity slightly in parts of the West, but continued dryness expanded or intensified drought in parts of the Plains, Deep South, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic states.
Only a few areas received above-normal precipitation for this time of year, including spots in the Pacific Northwest, Ohio Valley, Deep South Texas, and the southern half of Florida.
For the full USDA report for Nov. 24, click here.