Latest Monthly Assessment -
Drought improvement or removal occurred across the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, northern and central Great Plains, and much of the Midwest from late September through late October. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, valid on October 24, abnormal dryness (D0) and moderate drought (D1) expanded across parts of the eastern U.S., lower Mississippi Valley, and the southwestern U.S.
The drought outlook for November uses the U.S. Drought Monitor (valid on October 24) as a starting point and is based primarily on initial conditions, 7-day precipitation forecasts, extended range (6-10/8-14 day) precipitation and temperature outlooks, the CPC November precipitation and temperature outlooks, and climatology.
High confidence for drought removal exists across Washington, northern Idaho, and northwest Montana due to heavy precipitation forecast in the short-term, high probabilities for above normal precipitation in the monthly outlook, and a wet time of year. Although the monthly outlook calls for increased chances of above normal precipitation across eastern Montana, lower precipitation amounts during early November and a relatively dry climatology during November favor persistence on a broad scale. Persistence is also forecast for the western Dakotas and southwest Nebraska due to this dry climatology.
Heavy rain during late October and a favorable time of year for soil moisture recharge are likely to result in drought removal across the Northeast and parts of the mid-Atlantic. Increased chances for above normal precipitation during November favor removal throughout the Midwest.
Persistence is most likely for the ongoing drought areas across the Southeast, lower Mississippi Valley, and east Texas, consistent with the monthly precipitation outlook. Due to excessive rainfall associated with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Nate along with rainfall during the final week of October, the coverage of development is limited across the Southeast and Texas.
Long-term drought is likely to persist across southern California despite a forecast of anomalous precipitation at the beginning of November. Persistence is likely across Arizona, with an expansion of drought to include eastern Arizona and adjacent areas of New Mexico.
Although heavy rainfall resulted in drought improvement across the Hawaiian Islands during late October, additional improvement is not expected until after November. Alaska and Puerto Rico are expected to remain drought-free through the end of November.
Forecaster: Brad Pugh
Next Monthly Outlook issued: November 30, 2017 at 3 PM EST
Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion