National Conditions: May 31, 2023 - June 6, 2023

Abnormal dryness and drought expanded across the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic this week. Widespread rain reduced drought in the Florida Peninsula. Meanwhile, the drought-stricken Southern Plains saw big improvements, but more are needed—and areas of Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) Drought persist, especially in Kansas.

As of June 6, 2023, 18.33% of the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 21.94% of the lower 48 states are in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This Week's Drought Summary...

Heavy rains fell this week across some of the western parts of the Central and Southern Great Plains, especially in the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma and Kansas, leading to widespread improvements to ongoing drought in the western Great Plains. Heavy rains in the central and southern Florida Peninsula also led to improvements to ongoing drought and abnormal dryness in the southwest Florida Peninsula. Widespread degradations occurred in the Midwest and western portions of the Northeast, amid very dry and warm recent weather. In the West, some minor improvements occurred in parts of Nevada, Utah and Idaho, where high streamflows and large precipitation amounts from the winter into May led to a reassessment of conditions. Degradations were made in a few parts of western Montana and northwest Washington, where precipitation deficits mounted amid declining soil moisture and streamflow.

Looking Ahead...

For June 8-13, an inch or more of rain is forecast from the Pacific Northwest to the western interior, then across the central Plains, northern parts of the Southeast, and much of the Midwest. Local amounts up to or exceeding 3 inches of rain is forecast in northern and central Montana and the northern Rockies of Colorado. Far southern Florida may also see an inch or so of rain during this period. A quarter inch or more can be expected in the northern Plains into the western Midwest, the Northeast and the South from Texas to Florida. Little to no precipitation is predicted for the lower four-corners area and Pacific West Coast.

For the period from June 13-17, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center forecast favors below-normal precipitation across parts of the south-central and southeast United States, especially the central and western Gulf Coast areas into southwest Texas and southern New Mexico. Above-normal precipitation is favored in the Intermountain West and Great Basin, and with lesser confidence also favored from the Central Great Plains eastward into the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. Below-normal precipitation is favored in the Great Lakes vicinity. Above-normal precipitation is favored in most of Alaska, with the exception of the far southern reaches of the southeast Panhandle, where below-normal precipitation is more likely. Temperatures in Alaska are likely to be below normal in most areas, excluding the far north, with the highest forecast confidence centered over south-central and southeast Alaska. In the Lower 48, cooler-than-normal temperatures are favored in the Southwest and Intermountain West, excluding southeast New Mexico, and in the Upper Ohio River Valley. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are more likely in the north-central and northwest United States, especially in Minnesota and surrounding states, and from Texas and Oklahoma southeast into southern Alabama and Georgia and all of Florida.