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NOAA FORESEES CONTINUED DROUGHT IN WEST,
WORSENING SHORT-TERM DROUGHT IN UPPER MIDWEST

Image of U.S. Seaonal Drought Outlook MapJuly 19, 2007 — NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, in its updated U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released July 19, predicts varying degrees of drought improvement by the end of October across the eastern half of the country. In the West, however, most areas are expected to see persisting or even intensifying drought. Hot, dry weather expected late July into early August will worsen drought in the upper Midwest. U.S. Seaonal Drought Outlook for July through October. (Click NOAA image for larger view of the NOAA U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Across drought areas in the West, Climate Prediction Center forecasters expect summer thunderstorms to offer some drought relief, mainly in the Southwest. But forecasters raise caution. “With rain falling on drought-hardened ground, it would not be unusual to see local flash flooding in the midst of widespread drought this summer,” said Douglas Le Comte, drought specialist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.

Image of U.S. Drought Monitor MapAlso released today by NOAA and its partners is the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, which displays the current level of drought severity across the nation. This week’s update highlights increasing drought in the mid-Atlantic region, eastern Great Lakes and the upper Midwest, while severe drought continues to affect much of the West. (Click NOAA image for larger view of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

In contrast, thunderstorms continue to erode the drought in the Southeast, although year-to-date rainfall near the drought’s core in Alabama remains more than a foot and a half below normal.

NOAA cautions everyone to stay alert and tune in to local weather broadcasts for up-to-date summer weather reports. Also, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is an excellent source for immediate broadcasts of severe weather warnings and civil emergency messages giving those in harm’s way critical lead time to respond and remain safe.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA

U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook and Drought Monitor

Drought Information Page

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

Media Contact:
Carmeyia Gillis, NOAA Climate Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163