National Current Conditions: July 26, 2023 - August 1, 2023

The extreme heat and little to no precipitation is drying out the Southwest, Texas, and Louisiana. The Northwest and Northern Plains are also worsening. Meanwhile, the Midwest remains a mixed bag depending on where storms hit.

As of July 25, 2023, 23.5% of the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 28.8% of the lower 48 states are in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This Week's Drought Summary...

Dry conditions dominated the West and southern Plains, coupled with above-normal temperatures. Precipitation was most widespread throughout much of the upper Midwest and central Plains and into the Northeast. Almost the entire country had near- to above-normal temperatures this last week, with the greatest departures over the Southwest and central Plains where temperatures were at least 4-7 degrees above normal. Cooler-than-normal temperatures were recorded in the Pacific Northwest with departures of 3-6 degrees below normal. At the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period, significant rains developed over portions of the Midwest and central Plains, and they will be accounted for in the next analysis.

Looking Ahead...

Over the next 5-7 days, precipitation chances are anticipated to be best over the northern Rocky Mountains, central Plains and into the Southeast where forecasted rain totals could approach 3-4 inches in places. Dry conditions will dominate the southern Plains, Southwest and along the West Coast. Temperatures will be 12-15 degrees below normal over the central Plains to the northern Rocky Mountains and 8-12 degrees above normal in the southern Plains and Southwest.

The 6–10 day outlooks show a high probability of cooler-than-normal temperatures over the Northern Rocky Mountains, central and northern Plains and into the Midwest. The best chances of above-normal temperatures are over the Southwest, southern Plains and into the Southeast. Much of the country is showing an above-normal chance of above-normal precipitation, with only the Southwest and far southern Plains having high probabilities of below-normal precipitation.