Minimal precipitation creates drought conditions in the High Plains
Summary: Snow fell across most of the Northeast, but it was dry across most of the contiguous United States, with much of the country receiving less than 0.10 inch of precipitation and many areas receiving nothing at all.
It was around 5-10°F above normal in the central U.S., an area that continued to see dry conditions this past week.
In general, drought expanded across parts of the West, Southern Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic and contracted across part of the South.
In Illinois, abnormally dry (D0) and moderate drought (D1) conditions expanded across the southern and central parts of the state, where soil moisture was slowly but steadily declining as the precipitation deficits increase, stream flows were continuing to decline, and there were reports that some stock ponds and rural wells were low.
Abnormally dry conditions spread north and south in central Iowa and in the eastern portion of the state.
Looking Ahead Over the next week, beginning Tuesday December 19, a good deal of much needed precipitation is forecast to fall across much of the South and the eastern United States.
A swath from eastern Texas to North Carolina, most of Kentucky, and southern Virginia are expected to receive between two and six inches of precipitation.
Dry conditions will likely continue across the Southwest and parts of the southern Plains, where drought conditions already prevailed.
Looking two weeks out (December 26 – January 1), the cold temperatures are expected to continue, except in Florida and the Southwest.
The probability of above-average precipitation is highest over part of Montana and Texas, while below-average precipitation is most likely in the Northwest and much of the northern U.S. from the Northeast to the eastern Dakotas.