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Nation's Midsection Still in Serious Drought

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November 15, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Weekly Summary: A Pacific storm system and associated cold front slowly tracked across the lower 48 States during the week, producing welcome and beneficial precipitation to portions of the Northwest, Rockies, Great Plains, Midwest and lower Mississippi Valley.

As the period commenced, a Nor’easter off the middle and northern Atlantic Coast brought unseasonably heavy snow (up to a foot) to some areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

In the West, the storm system dropped the largest precipitation totals on the mountains, with lesser amounts on lower elevation sites. As the system moved into the Nation’s midsection, Gulf moisture was tapped, producing swaths of moderate to heavy showers (more than an inch) from central Kansas northeastward into the UP of Michigan, and from northeastern Texas northeastward into southern Indiana and central Kentucky.

Unfortunately, some parts of the country, namely the Southwest, southern and north-central Plains, and the eastern Gulf and southern Atlantic Coast States, missed the bulk of the precipitation and conditions persisted or worsened.

Temperatures averaged below normal in the West and East, with above-normal readings in the southern and central Plains into the upper Midwest.

In Hawaii, mostly dry weather prevailed early in the period, but trade wind showers coupled with a nearby upper-level trough enhanced the east side rains later in the week. Southwestern and extreme southeastern Alaska received moderate to heavy precipitation.

Looking Ahead: During the next five days (Nov. 15-19), a relatively tranquil weather pattern will envelop the Nation’s midsection. Another Nor’easter is expected to develop and affect the southern and middle Atlantic Coast States later in the period, while another Pacific storm system impacts the western quarter of the U.S., possibly reaching the Rockies by Sunday or Monday. In between the two systems, little or no precipitation is expected to fall. Temperatures are forecast to average above normal from the Intermountain West eastward into the upper Midwest and the southern Plains. Subnormal readings are expected in the southern Atlantic Coast States and along the California Coast.

For the 6-10 day outlook (Nov. 20–24), the odds favor above normal precipitation in the Northwest eastward into the upper Midwest, with subnormal precipitation likely from the Four Corner States eastward into the Southeast, and in Alaska. Chances for above normal temperatures are good across the western half of the Nation and into New England, with the highest odds in the North-Central States. Subnormal temperature probabilities are largest in the eastern Gulf and southern Atlantic Coast States, and in Alaska.

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