Drought monitor, February 18

Drought Monitor 2-18-2014

Drought Monitor 2-18-2014

Yesterday the latest version of the drought monitor for the United States was released, current as of February 18. Below is the description:


“During the past week, a persistent pattern of ridging (high pressure) over the Southwest and troughing (low pressure) over the East prevailed. Unfortunately, the ample moisture that finally visited drought-ravaged California (especially north-central sections) last week was shunted northward by the southwestern ridge into the Pacific Northwest this period, dumping widespread precipitation totals of 4-8 inches, locally 12-18 inches, from extreme northwestern California into western Washington. Additionally, the precipitation was accompanied by mild air, producing mainly rain instead of snow in southern sections of the Cascades in Oregon and limiting any snow pack increase for those mountains.

Farther north, however, the precipitation fell as snow in the northern Cascades (Washington) and northern Rockies, increasing the average basin SNOTEL snow water content by 10-20 percentage points in six days (from Feb. 12 to 18). Farther east, a series of winter storms brought wintry precipitation to the Midwest (light to moderate snow), Southeast (severe icing in Georgia and South Carolina), and the Northeast (heavy snow) as cold air remained entrenched in those regions. In contrast, dry and mild weather continued in the southwestern quarter of the Nation, further degrading conditions there. In Hawaii, scattered showers continued, with Kauai and Oahu receiving the greatest totals, while Puerto Rico and most of Alaska saw light precipitation, except for moderate amounts (more than 2 inches) in the southeastern Alaskan Panhandle.”

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.