Drought Development and Expansion Likely Through April

Moderate La Nina conditions continued over the equatorial Pacific with a 95 percent chance of persisting through the end of March. The Climate Prediction Center says the climate anomalies associated with the La Nina response will likely play the dominant role throughout the winter and early spring months.

Winter La Ninas typically result in above normal precipitation across the Northwest and north-central U.S. and below normal precipitation across the southern tier of States and central plains.

Drought conditions are expected to persist in the areas of Kansas already in drought conditions. It would cover most of the northern third of the state along with most of western Kansas. Drought development is expected over most of the rest of the state with only far east central and southeast parts of the state expected to be normal.

The worst area for drought right now is in the southwestern U.S. with five states, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona have over 72 percent of their states experiencing D3(Extreme) or D4(Exceptional) drought conditions. The drought area that is expected to persist extends from far northwestern Minnesota through most of North Dakota into portions of South Dakota, all of Nebraska, into Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Texas Panhandle down through western and portions of far southern Texas. However, all of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, a good portion of California and Wyoming will also see drought persist.

As of January 19, 63.46% of the Continental United States is considered abnormally dry or in drought conditions. 45% of the U.S. is considered in drought conditions and a little over 21% of the U.S. is considered in either extreme or exceptional drought conditions.


Source: Climate Prediction Center