National Current Conditions: August 2, 2023 - August 8, 2023

Abundant precipitation has improved drought in the Central Plains and Midwest (but not the Upper Midwest). Meanwhile, heat and dryness continue to degrade the Southwest, Texas, Louisiana, and the west coast of Florida.

As of August 8, 2023, 25.54% of the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 30.46% of the lower 48 states are in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This Week's Drought Summary...

A strong area of mid-level high pressure, anchored over the southern tier of the country, continued to promote above-normal temperatures and mostly dry weather across the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and the lower Mississippi Valley. Weekly temperatures (August 2 to 8) averaged more than 6 degrees F above normal across portions of Louisiana, Texas, and southern New Mexico. The persistence of this pattern led to rapidly developing and intensifying drought across Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley. The Monsoon remains suppressed with increasing short-term drought across Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Colorado. Frequent rounds of heavy rainfall occurred from the central Great Plains southeastward to the middle Mississippi Valley. During the first week of August, parts of Missouri received 5 to 10 inches (locally more) of rainfall. The wet start to August resulted in improving drought across parts of the Corn Belt. Farther to the north, drought continues to intensify across Wisconsin. On August 7, a severe weather outbreak with heavy rainfall affected the East. Short-term drought expanded this past week across parts of the Hawaiian Islands.

Looking Ahead...

In the next five days (August 10 - 14, 2023), moderate to heavy precipitation (0.5 to 2 inches, locally more) is forecast for the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, and Northeast. Farther to the south, little to no precipitation and above-normal temperatures are forecast to persist across the lower Mississippi Valley and Texas. Scattered thunderstorms may result in local amounts in excess of 0.5 inches for the Four Corners region. A warming trend is expected for the Pacific Northwest and intermountain West during mid-August.

The 6-10 day outlook (valid August 15 - 19, 2023) depicts large probabilities (more than 60 percent) for above-normal temperatures throughout much of the West, southern Great Plains, and Gulf Coast. Probabilities for above-normal temperatures decrease farther to the north with a slight lean towards below-normal temperatures across the northern Great Plains. Above-normal precipitation is slightly favored across the northern Rockies, northern Great Plains, upper Mississippi Valley, and New England, while below-normal precipitation is more likely across the southern Great Plains and lower Mississippi Valley.