NOAA Issues Unscheduled Update To Its U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook

Due to the expansion of drought in the Dakotas, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center issued on July 7 an unscheduled update to its U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook. Additionally, the new outlook highlights short term drought relief in the Southwest.

The updated outlook shows recently-worsening drought conditions affecting parts of the northern Plains and the Upper Mississippi Valley should continue and may even expand across eastern Montana, Minnesota, the Dakotas and parts of Iowa. Drought is expected to persist over much of the central and southern Plains. However, recent heavy rains due to the onset of the U.S. monsoon season should ease drought conditions and reduce wildfires in the Southwest and Colorado, although long-term drought is likely to continue.

The next update to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which highlights the present status of dryness and drought throughout the United States, is scheduled for July 13. The next U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, which gives the prognosis for drought throughout the country, is scheduled to be released on July 20.

U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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