The spring NOAA drought outlook has been released... and we (the Coastal Empire and Low Country) look to be in good shape as we move forward over the next 3 months... with no drought development anticipated.
As we look across the nation... significant and widespread drought conditions continue in California which experienced its warmest and third driest winter on record. Drought is expected to persist or intensify in California... Nevada, most of interior Oregon and Utah... Arizona... New Mexico... southeast Colorado... western Oklahoma and most of west Texas because of below-average rain or snow this winter and the onset of the dry season in April.
If the drought persists as predicted in the West and Southwest... it will likely result in an active wildfire season... continued stress on crops and livestock due to low water levels... and an expansion of water conservation measures. Drought removal expected for the Big Island of Hawaii.
Drought improvement is likely in Washington... southeast Idaho... extreme northern and coastal Oregon... western and central sections of Nebraska and Kansas... central Oklahoma and the Midwest.
Drought is not expected east of the Mississippi River during the next three months.
More information about drought can be found at www.drought.gov... a clearinghouse of drought-related materials managed by NOAA including maps... tools and information to help prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.
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