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USA DROUGHT: SOME RELIEF PREDICTED FOR A FEW STATES
13, 2001 NOAA's
latest U.S. Drought Outlook predicts an improvement in drought
conditions for some states. Good news and relief comes to central
and eastern Montana, the western Carolinas and into Georgia and
the Florida peninsula as NOAA's climate forecasters call for
the likelihood of gradually improving water supply conditions
over the next few months. "This is good news, because some
areas may now relax water restrictions based on the upgraded
outlook for water supply," said NOAA
Climate Prediction Center meteorologist Douglas LeComte.
(Click NOAA image for latest drought graphic.)
However, drought conditions
will likely continue over western Texas and may spread into central
Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Also, dry conditions in the mid-Mississippi
Valley, Arkansas, southern Missouri, and western Tennessee, are
likely to persist through October with an occasional relief from
NOAA's Seasonal Drought
- Continued drought in the Pacific
Northwest, with the likelihood of improved conditions in central
and eastern Montana.
- Dry conditions will continue
in the mid-Mississippi Valley, Arkansas, southern Missouri, and
western Tennessee, with intermittent relief from severe storms,
- Drought conditions may expand
from western Texas into central Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
- Continued improvement of dry
conditions that extend from western North Carolina into northwestern
South Carolina and Georgia.
- The Florida peninsula will
experience some improvement;lake levels will remain low.
- Drought in Hawaii is likely
- Drought conditions are not
expected for Alaska.
What's causing these conditions?
NOAA scientists are observing persistent cold sea-surface temperatures
in parts of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. These conditions
are not only attributed to a post La Niña syndromethe
lingering atmospheric effects of the 1998-2000 La
Niñabut are also attributed to the negative
phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Both climate phenomena
are believed to play a role in intensifying drought in the central
Plains and easing drought conditions in the Southeast. At the
earliest, NOAA's scientists indicate the possibility of a weak-to-moderate
El Niño event
in the late fall or next winter, but this is not a certainy.
You have to stay logged on to NOAA for the official El Niño/La
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center
reminds everyone that "It is not unusual for some area of
the country to be in drought at some point during the summer,"
said LeComte. "What is most promising is that we now are
seeing relief of long-term dry conditions in some states."
NOAA's scientists classify drought three ways:
- Hydrological, or water resources
droughtthe long-term lake and well-level deficitswhich
takes longer to start and end; this type of drought causes municipal
officials to order water usage restrictions.
- Agricultural drought, which
results from short-term dryness and often causes greater economic
- Drought in forested areas,
which increase the potential wildfires.
Relevant Web Sites
(El Niño/La Niña) Diagnostic Discussion
NOAA's Drought Information
Gillis, NOAA's Climate
Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163