Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drought improves in some areas, not in the Mid-South

The metropolitan area remains entrenched in a severe to extreme drought this week.  Below are comparison maps for the south-central U.S., as well as Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, for this week versus 4 weeks ago.  While areas that were not under severe conditions showed some improvement over the past month, areas like the metro that need rain the most are slowly getting worse.

South-central U.S. drought conditions have improved somewhat in the past 4 weeks, especially over east TX, the Gulf Coast, and middle and eastern TN. OK and AR have gotten much worse.

Much of middle and eastern TN is no longer in a drought state, though extreme west TN has gotten worse.  Shelby and Tipton County are now in an extreme drought.

North MS is also extremely dry, with little change in the past months, while a minor drought over southern MS ended  in the past month.  

The state of AR is in dire straits with over 50% of the state under "exceptional drought" conditions.
It takes a while to end drought conditions. Above is the amount of precipitation required from August-October to end the current drought.  Not sure we'll see 20" of rain in 3 months, especially given the outlook below!
With expectations for "near normal" precipitation in the Mid-South from August-October, it appears drought conditions will continue into autumn.  Average precipitation for Memphis for these 3 months is 10".

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