Drier Trend in April (So far) for Core of Great Plains Drought Area

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Discussion: The ECM ENS 24-hour precipitation amount change is much drier across the central Great Plains and Mid-south U.S. (Fig. 1). The sensible forecast is drier than normal for the southern half of the Great Plains and western half of Texas (Fig. 2). The drier scenario is preferred due to the transition of the Madden Julian oscillation from phase_7 to phase_1 over the next 2 weeks which is favorable for wet weather to the east of the drought area. The ECM 120-hour forecast identifies scattered moderate rain in the central Great Plains despite the presence of severe weather tomorrow and Saturday (Fig. 3). Current soil moisture conditions reveal the intense Nebraska to Texas drought (Fig. 4) and drier trend in April so far (Fig. 5) while wet bias is in the northwest Gulf States or farther east.

Fig. 1: Climate Impact Company favors the drier ECM ENS 15-day forecast for the U.S. which is dramatically drier in the U.S. drought zone since yesterday.

Fig. 2: The ECM ENS 15-day percent of normal precipitation forecast reveals a dry regime in the central and southern Great Plains to West Texas.

Fig. 3: Severe thunderstorms are forecast for the central and eastern Great Plains FRI/SAT but most of the rainfall is east of that zone in the ECM 5-day outlook.

Fig. 4: The daily U.S. soil moisture anomaly analysis reveals drought in the Central U.S., Florida, and Mid-Atlantic States.


Fig. 5: The U.S. soil moisture change for April (so far) reveals a drier trend for the central/southern Great Plains while Texas/Louisiana are much wetter.