Last year’s drought covered two-thirds of the U.S. at its height, but has since receded from the East and remained severe across much of the West, according to the most recent Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook.
The publication also shows that the spring of 2013 set records for low temperatures in many states represented by the Western Governors’ Association, including Alaska, Hawaii and the Dakotas.
The Outlook features a synopsis of drought conditions over the past three months as well as a glimpse of potential conditions through September. Though drought is receding in much of the Central Plains, it is likely to persist across much of the Central West and the coastal states. Additional information, such as reservoir levels, areas of above-average wildfire potential, is also included in the Outlook.
The Outlook is a quarterly publication that was developed by the WGA and NOAA after the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2011. All of the maps and information presented in the Outlook are also available from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which provides a number of online drought information tools at drought.gov. Western Governors were instrumental to the passage of NIDIS in 2006; NIDIS is currently up for reauthorization by Congress.
NOAA also releases region-specific Outlooks that focus on the Central Region, Alaska, the Pacific Islands, and the Western Region. Find them here.
For additional information on the Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook, contact WGA Policy Manager Carlee Brown at 720-897-4547.