Spring Drought Outlook

The drought outlook indicates continued general improvement in the Southeast, although some reservoirs are unlikely to recover before
summer. Winter precipitation chipped away at both the western and southeastern drought. The United States Drought Monitor shows the extreme drought coverage dropped from nearly 50 percent in mid-December to less than 20 percent in the Southeast for March. The Southeast had near-average rainfall during the winter with some areas wetter than average. Lingering water supply concerns continue and water restrictions remain in parts of the region. The drought is expected to continue in parts of the southern Plains despite some some heavy rain during the middle of March. Parts of Texas received less than 25 percent of normal rainfall in the winter, leading 165
counties to enact burn bans by mid-March. Seasonal forecasts for warmth and dryness suggest the drought will expand northward and westward this spring.

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