Seasonal Drought OutlookApril 26th, 2013 at 9:14 am by markmonstrola under Weather
Latest Seasonal Assessment - The drought outlook for April 18 – July 31, 2013 is based primarily on short-, medium-, and long-range forecasts, initial conditions, and climatology. During the past two months, major improvement occurred across Georgia and South Carolina where additional improvement is expected. Improvement is also forecast for the Florida peninsula. The duration of the drought across south Florida is expected to be short-lived as the rainy season typically begins by the end of May. A repeat of last summer’s “flash drought” (both in spatial coverage and duration) across the Corn Belt is not expected at this time. However, rapidly developing flash droughts are notoriously difficult to predict well in advance. Improvement is forecast across eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and northeast Texas, but prospects for drought improvement decrease farther southwest across the southern High Plains and south Texas. Some improvement is expected across the intense drought areas of the northern/central Plains, while improvement is more likely across the upper Mississippi Valley. Drought is forecast to persist for much of the West and expand across northern California and southern Oregon. Some improvement is expected for the drought area across northern Alaska, while areas of persistence and development of drought are anticipated for the Hawaiian Islands.
Here is some info the CPC has out on droughts:
What is the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook?
The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook shows predicted trends
for areas experiencing drought depicted in the U.S. Drought
Monitor, as well as indicating areas where new droughts may
develop. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center issues this monthly
product in conjunction with their long-lead temperature and
precipitation outlooks on the first and third Thursday of each
month and when weather events warrant an interim update.
The general large-scale trends depicted are based on numerous
indicators, including short and long-range forecasts. A discussion
detailing the atmospheric, hydrologic, and climatic conditions
affecting the drought trends is included.
Why is Drought Important?
The United States is vulnerable to the social, economic, and
environmental impacts of drought. More than 100 years of U.S.
weather records indicate that there have been three or four major
drought events during that period. Two of these, the 1930s Dust
Bowl drought and the 1950s drought, each lasted five to seven
years and covered large areas of the continental United States.
Droughts are among the most costly weather related events.
According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the United
States has sustained 114 weather/climate disasters over the past
31+ years (up to 2011) in which overall damages/costs reached
or exceeded $1 billion. The total standardized losses for the 114
events exceed $800 billion.
During this period, there have been 16 billion-dollar droughts,
totaling $195 billion in losses, which amounts to approximately
$12 billion for each billion-dollar drought event that has occurred.
Common Types Of Drought
Meteorological Drought is based on the degree
of dryness (rainfall deficit) and the length of
the dry period.
Hydrological Drought is based on the impact of rainfall deficits
on the water supply such as stream flow, reservoir and lake
levels, and ground water table decline.
Socioeconomic drought is based on the impact of
drought conditions (meteorological, agricultural,
or hydrological drought) on supply and demand
of some economic goods. Socioeconomic drought
occurs when the demand for an economic good
exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related
deficit in water supply.
Agricultural Drought is based on the impacts to agriculture by
factors such as rainfall deficits, soil water deficits, reduced ground
water, or reservoir levels needed for irrigation.