Fig. 1-2: January 2022 soil moisture anomalies across the U.S. and the seasonal soil moisture trend.
U.S. soil moisture: The January 2022 soil moisture analysis identifies the Central/Mid-south U.S. as a wide region of dry to very dry soil moisture conditions (Fig. 1). NOAA indicates D-4 classification drought has developed in the southwest Great Plains to Central Texas. D-4 drought conditions are also intact across Montana to northwestern North Dakota to the far southern Canadian Prairies. The seasonal soil moisture trend indicates super dryness across the Gulf States, parts of the Midwest U.S. and Northeast Corridor (Fig. 2). The January 2022 U.S. soil moisture conditions have similarities to January 2012 which went on to be a major drought year for the Great Plains (Fig. 3). Interestingly, the Nino34 SSTA, Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multi-decadal oscillation/Tropical North Atlantic index in 2011 which lead to the January 2012 dry soil conditions are very similar to the 2021 regime (Fig. 4).
Fig. 3: The January 2012 U.S. Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) analysis.
Fig. 4: Comparing ENSO (using Nino34 SSTA), Pacific decadal oscillation index and combining the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation and tropical North Atlantic index from 2011 versus 2021 have remarkable similarities.