Unseasonably warm, dry weather across the eastern third of the nation contrasted with wet, cooler conditions across portions of the west.The overall trend during the past week included rapidly expanding dryness and drought from North Carolina into New England, while highly variable drought lingered over much of the Southeast.
Temperatures for the week averaged 5 to 12°F above normal, with daytime highs eclipsing 90°F for much of the week across southern portions of the region.Likewise, rainfall from post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine and a passing cold front disappointed, with most areas reporting less than half an inch.In the expanded Extreme Drought (D3) area, rainfall over the past 6 months has totaled a meager 50 to 60 percent of normal, with most streamflows in the lowest 5th percentile.Farther south, despite a wet signal out to 90 days, 90-degree heat coupled with acute short-term dryness (30-day rainfall totaling less than 40 percent of normal, locally less than 10 percent) led to a widespread expansion of D0 across portions of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and southern Pennsylvania.Moderate Drought (D1) likewise expanded over much of New Jersey due to equally low 30-day rainfall values on top of drier-than-normal conditions over the past 60 days.
Despite the heat and dryness, heavy downpours (locally more than 2 inches) led to some drought reduction in western Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.
Above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall over much of the region led to a continuation or expansion of dryness and drought conditions.
In North Carolina, pronounced late-summer heat (90-94°F) and short-term dryness (30-day rainfall totaling 15 to 40 percent of normal) led to a significant increase of Abnormal Dryness (D0) across the western two-thirds of the state.
Farther south, highly variable rainfall over the past 90 days has resulted in a spatially variant drought depiction from Georgia into Alabama and southeastern Tennessee, with 3-month surpluses separated from 4- to 7-inch deficits often by two counties or less.
Rain was concentrated in southern drought-free portions of the region, though showers coupled with additional assessments from the field led to some improvement in drought over northern Mississippi.
Over the past 90 days, precipitation has approached 100 percent of normal in north-central Mississippi, where Abnormal Dryness (D0) was removed.