Drought

Well, it seems the rich keep getting richer, while the poor keep getting poorer. Much of the midwest is in the worst drought in over 20 years, while storm after storm continues to bypass the area.

The forecasts through the rest of the month hold little promise of any relief for anything beneficial. I have never seen crops being harvested so early. Most of the corn and soybeans in the fields near me have already been harvested.

Do any of you long range forecasters see this pattern breaking down, and allowing for some relief for the midwest anytime soon? This is starting to get ridiculous... :(
 
My hometown of Urbana just had its first above average month of precip since January. The drought here hasnt been nearly as bad here as it has in areas further to my NW, where Joel lives.
The long term forecast doesnt look great, maybe a few chances here and there, but nothing major as of right now.
 
Well, your not going to believe this, but we literally did not recieve any rain from the end of July all the way to October 7th...that's a major drought for the Johnson City Vicinity...what makes me even more upset is how some people in my town are so ignorant about the value of precipitation. This was one of out worst drought's in a while, and we ONLY got rain because of Tropical storm/Hurricane Tammy, so that in itself is an Anomaly of sorts.
 
Even down here in East Texas, it's been a dry year, though with a peculiarity.

From the word go this year, we've been below normal, and are currently running about 8-10 inches below our normals of over 30" for this time of year.

We had some long stretches of rainfall deficits in the late spring months, and it looked like we were going to have a terrible fire season (like 99 and 2000 which were terrible). While the farmers need more rain, we've managed to get a few showers here and there and were able to avert a disastrous season. Also, a saving grace wasn't going through nature's gotcha of tons of late spring rain, then no rain for months. Fuels grow like weeds here, even when they're not. They dry out and "poof."

Lake levels are very low on some reservoirs that aren't fed by rivers.
 
Now the northeast is getting drenched with days of rain, while we sit here watching as the ground becomes more dehydrated. It seems like the pattern never changes.

The midwest is usually a pretty active part of the country year round. But for some reason this season it's like we're a rock in a stream, everything flows around us. I was hoping with the changing seasons something would break it down, but the drought continues on, getting worse by the day.....
 
Just wait 'til winter Joel... Hopefully we get blasted again (well, maybe not again for you, :lol:). Last year my location seen just over 100 inches - VERY rare, though I can't really recall any MONSTER snowstorms. It was more like 3-5 inches every week or so, with a few big ones here and there (10-12 inchers). Then, to push things over the century mark, we had a big one at the end of April, towards May... My location got around an inch... While 10 miles to the north had nearly 18 inches of the wettest snow I have every seen...

I am REALLY hoping to see another January 2, 1999 event OR better yet; a December 23, 2004 event (except over my area). I would rather have a single 36 inch snowstorm and be done with the season than have a 2 incher every other day :x
 
Wow, this is getting quite funny. We just can't break this drought here. Check out this latest graphic for 72" soil moisture.... http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/cliwatch/drought/...oildep_72in.gif

I am sitting dead center in the lowest soil moisture in the midwest. Now over 20" short of precip for 2005. And to top it off, today, a huge shield of rain forms literally 15 miles to the east of us and explodes in coverage and intensity.

The only thing that's saving us from fires in this area is the higher humidity and residual top moisture from the snow.... :cry:
 
Glen noted something in another thread that may be of significance for southern plains chasers. If the drought across OK/TX continues and expands as the CPC drought graphic forecasts, we will likely see a very hot EML that'll move off the higher terrain and cap us off. For those who don't know, dry soil tends to warm much more quickly than moist soil (more insolation converted to sensible heat), so a dry west TX and NM may very well mean higher 850-700mb temps and a stronger cap. Here's to hoping THAT doesn't happen.
 
With no rain forecast for Southeast Texas through the start of 06, I have been able to finish calculating this years rainfall data for my location and the results are rather surprising. I have been keeping a rainfall record since Jan 1 99, so I by all means do not consider this data an actual climalogical record at this time because I believe you need to have at least 10 years of data to consider the information climalogical.

The results show that my area is 15.73 inches behind the 7 year norm. 2005 is also the first year in which less than 40 inches of annual rain has occurred at my location.

Excel spreadsheet showing the monthly break down of rainfall at my location:

http://weather.xonelabs.com/Home%20Station...%20Rainfall.xls
 
I agree with the thoughts posted by Glen and Jeff, in fact I'm already preparing myself for another season full of marathon drives that both strain the pocket book and the mind/body. With no end in sight for this drought, it appears the S Plains are once again screwed for Spring storms. Not like we're not used to it though. It's really bad when we can tell before it even gets here :cry:
 
So we know texas and oklahoma are screwed :roll: , I would think kansas would be screwed too since those 700 mb winds fromthe southwest would overspread us :( , am I wrong? (please say no, please say no, please say no)
 
If KS/OK/TX do turn out to be out of the running for major outbreaks due to the aformentioned EML causing stronger capping in the region, there is a distinct possibility that the real outbreaks could be farther west and north than normal this year. They've migrated farther north the past few years (to Kansas/Nebraska/The Dakotas) but really all the action has been in the eastern parts of those states. Draw a line from Colby to North Platte to Pierre and the majority of the tornadic outbreaks have occured east of this line. The Great Plains have got all the good stuff, while the High Plains have, for the most part, missed out entirely. Colorado's eastern plains and southwest Nebraska/northwest Kansas have had a few days of interesting severe weather, but we haven't had a day with multiple tornadoes in the Tri-State region since May 17, 2000 and most of those developed from HP supercells rotating around an area of developing low pressure centered over Bennett so they were all rain wrapped. :( Chasers with any sense punted Colorado HP tornado chasing and were out in southwest Nebraska after the isolated classic supercell which produced the spectacular Brady tornado. Here's to a blockbuster northeast CO/NE Panhandle outbreak; a real, honest supercellular tornado outbreak. :D Nothing like chasing tornadoes on your own turf! 8)
Seriously though, I have much sympathy for all of you in the extreme drought regions; now you know what Colorado and the West went through in 2002! That year was hell, and we had many, many grassfires that summer, some that burned in excess of 10,000 acres within ten miles of our farm. That was a little scary. :shock: Not to mention the forest fires in the mountains which claimed hundreds of thousands of acres. Also 90% of the crops statewide were wrecked, and dryland and irrigated farmers were in the same boat because what little of the irrigation water was there was diverted to keep the city water supplies from drying up. That year caused the near extinction of the small acreage dryland farmer, and my dad will probably never fully recover financially from that hellacious year. Here is to record breaking early spring snowstorms and rainfall in the Central and Southern Plains, followed by wickedly insane tornado outbreaks to make up for last year's mostly pathetic chase season (yes, I acknowledge there were some great chase days, but for the most part tornadoes were few and far between until about November, when they occured in largely unchaseable terrain and when most everyone had no time to chase them.)Anyway, here's to 2006, and may the chase season keep us on our toes from April to July! :twisted:
Sorry for getting off topic. :)
 
As most everyone knows, the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding areas are in the midst of what the weather experts are calling an exceptional drought. The average annual rainfall for DFW is around 35 inches, or 34.73 to be exact. For 2005, we are finishing the year with just 18.97 inches of the wet stuff. We have received only 54.62 percent our annual rainfall.
Another ominious statistic is that since September of 2005, the DFW area has only received 2.60 inches of rainfall, or just 22.30 percent of our average for that time period. Worse yet, looks like the first quarter of 2006 will bring more of the same weather for our area---very little precipitation, above average temperatures, and lots of wind. I most definitely hope that this pattern changes by March or the Southern Plains states could be in for a supercell drought also. 2005 was very, very "inactive" for North Texas with regards to severe thunderstorms and supercells---one of the slowest seasons in the past several years.
Happy New Year everyone. Time to start PRAYING for rain for the Southern Plains!!!
 
I'll certainly join in praying for rain in the southern Plains. It's a very serious situation with bad consequences for a lot of people!

I wouldn't get too down about prospects for the storm season as a result, though. In fact I think all things equal more surface heating is a good thing for storms. The problems are much more subtle and large scale.

I'm a big fan of ocean temperature anomalies to provide some slight indication of what's in store. I think there's some slight correlation between higher than normal Gulf of Alaska and eastern Pacific temperatures and a sub-par early Plains storm season. The reason might be that the warmer ocean encourages ridging with corresponding troughing over the northern Plains and Midwest.

Right now ocean temperatures look a lot like last year at this time, which isn't to say that they will in a few months, but it wouldn't surprise me. FWIW.
 
Much of the moisture transport comes from the gulf in association with lee cyclogenesis/the LLJ so I wouldn't be too worried (although soil moisture certainly helps!). I recall the dryline staying pretty far west much of the past year... so if conditions are drier, it is possible the dryline will mix farther east (to perhaps the I35 corridor).

Where is Geukes at? We need some drought/ following season statistics pronto! :D

Aaron
 
Mike Mike the stats man!

If I recall correctly, the drought out west was pretty bad over the winter and into the spring of 2003. Interestingly enough, west Texas had an almost non-existant tornado season that year, with much of the action along and east of I35. It does make a bit of sense that if the soil is VERY dry to the west, the dryline would likely mix eastward a bit easier/faster. That said, I didn't think soil moisture really affect much beyond the very near-surface layer, which I doubt would affect dryline propagation too much. Not sure though...
 
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