How dry I am. Don’t look for food prices to be dropping in the near future.


Current U.S. Drought Monitor

National Drought Summary for June 24, 2014


For the second consecutive week, moderate to heavy rainfall brought additional drought relief from the Midwest southward across the central Plains into Texas. Meanwhile, drought conditions prevailed from California into the central and southern Rockies.

Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico

There were no changes made to the drought depiction in Alaska and Hawaii this week. In Alaska, cool weather and locally heavy showers were noted across much of the state, with streamflows in the northern Abnormal Dryness (D0) areas exhibiting some recovery. Additional rainfall over the ensuing weeks would likely warrant some D0 reduction. In Hawaii, some areas of leeward dryness are developing but remained fairly localized. In Puerto Rico, D0 was expanded into the northeastern quarter of the island where 90-day rainfall deficits (50 to 70 percent of normal) has resulted in streamflows drooping locally below the 10th percentile.

Central Plains

Conditions remained largely unchanged on the central High Plains during the monitoring period, as hot weather (readings as high as 100°F) offset the light to moderate showers (0.1 to 1 inch) which dotted western portions of the region. A small expansion of Extreme Drought (D3) in southwestern Kansas reflected increasingly poor vegetation health as indicated by satellite, with potential for additional degradations in this area if rain fails to materialize soon. Farther east, however, locally heavy downpours — with totals averaging 2 to locally more than 4 inches — resulted in some removal of Moderate (D1) and Severe (D2) Drought in central and southwestern Nebraska. In these areas, precipitation over the past 30 days has averaged 150 to 260 percent of normal. In Kansas, showers were mostly too light to warrant any additional improvement on top of last week’s drought reduction, though locally heavy downpours (2 to 4 inches) allowed for minor decrease of Extreme Drought (D3) in southern portions of the state.


After last week’s beneficial showers, mostly dry, warm weather prevailed in the Moderate (D1) and Severe (D2) Drought areas of southwestern Louisiana. Soil moisture remains limited in these locales due to pronounced dryness over the past 90 days (locally less than 50 percent or normal). The rest of the Delta remained free of drought. NOTE: At the end of the period, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms developed over the Delta’s drought areas, and the resultant benefit —if any — will be addressed in next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Drier-than-normal conditions prevailed over eastern portions of the region during the monitoring period, which coupled with declining streamflows led to an expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0) in southeastern New Hampshire and neighboring locales. Precipitation over the past 60 days has totaled 50 to 70 percent of normal in the D0 areas, and streamflows have likewise dipped below the 20th percentile. In contrast, showers dotted the Mid-Atlantic region, with locally more than 2 inches of rain bordering areas with little — if any — rainfall. Overall, soil moisture remained adequate to abundant for pastures and summer crops.


Moderate to heavy rainfall further reduced or eradicated drought but submerged low-lying fields and caused additional river flooding in western and central portions of the region. Persistent showers and thunderstorms doused areas from central Nebraska into Iowa and northern Illinois with 2 to 4 inches of rainfall, with locally higher amounts. The rain was more than sufficient to warrant additional 1-category improvements over the western half of the Corn Belt. Despite the additional heavy downpours, long-term precipitation deficits linger (less than 70 percent of normal over the past 12 months) in west-central and southeastern Iowa; consequently, a small area of Moderate Drought (with a Long Term, or “L”, designation) remained where shortfalls are most pronounced. In contrast, short-term dryness (90-day rainfall averaging 50 to 70 percent of normal) led to a small increase of Abnormal Dryness (D0) in southeastern South Dakota.

Ohio Valley and Southeast

Pronounced short-term rainfall deficits and above-normal temperatures led to an expansion of Abnormal Dryness (D0) in Kentucky and along the Ohio River. In the expanded D0 area, 30-day rainfall has totaled locally less one-third of normal, which coupled with temperatures up to 7°F above normal caused a rapid decline in soil moisture and streamflows. Farther south, locally dry conditions from east-central Georgia northward into western South Carolina warranted D0 expansion, with precipitation over the past 60 days tallying 35 to 60 percent of normal. Localized dryness and declining streamflows also led to the introduction of a small D0 area south of Asheboro, NC, where streamflows have dropped below the 10th percentile. In Florida, another round of locally heavy showers and thunderstorms (generally 1 to 4 inches, with some reports as high as 7 inches) facilitated the removal of the remaining D0 in southern-most portion of the state. The rest of the southeastern quarter of the nation saw scattered showers and thunderstorms, which were sufficient to prevent any introduction or expansion of D0.

Southern Plains and Texas

Despite temperatures in the 90s, rainfall during the week was sufficient to warrant modest to significant reductions in drought from northern and central Oklahoma southward into Texas. Showers and thunderstorms dropped 2 to locally more than 4 inches of rain from the eastern Oklahoma panhandle southeastward into central Oklahoma and east-central Texas. In particular, there were numerous reports of more than 3 inches west of Oklahoma City, and several totals in excess of 7 inches southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth. Consequently, drought intensity declined in areas where the heaviest rain fell, although long-term impacts continue (i.e. reservoir storage and ground water supplies). Farther south, a slow-moving disturbance drifted north from northeastern Mexico along the Rio Grande River Valley, dropping moderate to excessive rainfall (2 to 5 inches, with localized amounts in excess of 8 inches) from Laredo to the western Edwards Plateau. Likewise, a separate area of showers and thunderstorms (1 to 3 inches) swept across Texas’ Trans-Pecos region later in the week. These two areas of rain resulted in notable decreases in drought intensity and coverage across southern and western Texas.

Western U.S.

Variable conditions in the north contrasted with ongoing drought elsewhere. In addition, the return of hot weather in California and the Southwest accelerated moisture losses and increased irrigation requirements.

In northern portions of the region, a slow-moving Pacific storm generated locally heavy rain and mountain snow across the northern Rockies, with showers from this system (locally more than inch) spilling into northeastern drought areas of Washington. Consequently, modest reductions were made to drought intensity and coverage in the mountains and foothills of northeast Washington, where Water Year precipitation was mostly near normal (80-95 percent of normal). Appreciable rainfall bypassed southwestern portions of Columbia River Valley, where Moderate (D1) and Severe (D2) Drought were expanded to reflect poor crop conditions and much-below-normal Water Year precipitation (40-50 percent of normal). To further illustrate the drought’s impacts, the USDA-NASS reported Washington’s winter wheat slipped 1 percentage point to 27 percent poor to very poor as of June 22, with only 30 percent rated good to excellent.

Farther south, California and the Great Basin will most likely have to wait until the 2014-15 Water Year for drought relief. In northern and central California, Exceptional Drought (D4) reflected abysmal 2013-14 Water Year precipitation totals; from northern portions of the Coastal Range to Mt. Shasta, precipitation since October 1 totaled 30 to 50 percent of normal (deficits of 16 to 32 inches). The corresponding Standardized Precipitation Indices (SPI), which helps quantify precipitation in terms of drought and historical probability, are well into the Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) categories. Similar precipitation rankings (D3 or D4 equivalent) are prominent for the past Water Year from San Francisco south to Santa Barbara and east to the Sierra Nevada, including most of the San Joaquin Valley.

In the central Rockies and Four Corners, there were no changes to this week’s drought depiction. Extreme Drought (D3) remains entrenched across west-central Arizona and along the Arizona-New Mexico border, with Water-Year precipitation in these locales totaling less than half of normal (locally below 30 percent of normal) .

Looking Ahead

Warm, humid, and unsettled conditions will persist from the central and southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Coast. Embedded within this large area of unsettled weather, the greatest potential for heavy rain will be over the Upper Midwest and northern Plains as well as the central and western Gulf Coast region. Showers are also expected across the Northwest — though the rain is expected to once again bypass primary Northwestern drought areas — and in the Northeast. The NWS 6-10 day outlook for July 1-5 calls for wetter-than-normal conditions east of the Mississippi and from the Four Corners into the central Plains as well as southern Texas. Conversely, drier-than-normal weather is expected from the Northwest east to the northern Plains. Above-normal temperatures are anticipated across much of the nation, with cooler-than-normal conditions confined to the Upper Midwest, Texas, and the coastal Pacific Northwest.

Eric Luebehusen, U.S. Department of Agriculture


  1. Well aware of the CA drought but am still puzzled that we can buy spinach and such from California at the local grocery market for the same prices as 6 or even 12 months ago. I would have thought it would be scarce now? (Most of our other groceries are skyrocketing in price.)

    The corn here in the mitten state is looking exceptionally big and healthy for this time of year.

  2. The map shows my area as abnormally dry yet this is the wettest spring/early summer anyone can remember. We’ve been getting inches of rain and all of the terrain is green. The concrete curbs in from of my house are six inches high and it has rained so hard and fast that the street floods until water comes over the curb and floods my yard. This has happened three times this year. I’ve even had the sprinkler system shut off for weeks at a time. Temps have been cold to mild and this is the first year we have not had the A/C on before July. Our fans have been more than enough to keep the fort comfortable.

    If this is global warming then bring it on! I hate the heat!

  3. @IS – Most of the plains/midwest are having a reasonably wet period, with soil moistures doing well. The reason most are still labeled drought is that water tables are still down, and aquifers are still empty.

    It takes several years to bounce back completely from a drought as severe as the 2012 one.

    @California – They are bleeding damn near all of the water supplies off from the entire tri-state area to keep desert towns alive. This area will not bounce back for hundreds of years. The aquifers are empty, the rivers are dry, and ground is sagging reducing the volume of future aquifers.

    It will turn back into the desert it was meant to be, fit for raising goats and little else.

  4. Aquifers around here are doing fine. In the twenty years I’ve lived here I’ve never heard a single word about it being depleted. We get a report about it with our water bill once each year.

    Our aquifer was formed during the last Ice Age but they still aren’t sure how or where the aquifer gets charged. They suspect that several mountain lakes in NE of here is where water enters the aquifer. There are several large, underwater springs in the riverbed where water flows out of the aquifer at a pretty constant rate.

    Of the twelve places I’ve lived in my life, this place has the best water I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet and clean with no aftertastes and it is so pure that there is no need to even treat it. It’s pumped directly out of the ground into elevated tanks to build head pressure and directly to our taps. They add a tiny bit of chlorine to it to keep the distribution system clean. I don’t even boil it when making beer. We are pretty fortunate when it comes to water here. Reminds me of the water we used to drink directly from creeks as kids running wild in the mountains of Montana.

  5. TPC’s comment is very astute – California was meant to be a desert. Yet it is there that folks have chosen to grow much of the countries food. How ridiculous is it to grow fruit trees in the desert, for instance – I believe it takes around 5000 gallons of water per each fruit tree. For a few hundred pounds of fruit.

    I told RE that the problem is not lack of water, it is poor use of water. Crops are being grown in areas ill-suited to their growth. Until crops are grown in areas where they are suited, the problem will grow and grow. Food production needs to be local, as much as is possible. Growing fruit trees in the desert will in the end not make sense.

  6. Haha, llpoh, you silly injun.

    It is posts like this that reveal you for what you are not (ie a prosperous minority who is very very tall)

    I think you are a line cook at waffle house with an enormous imagination.

  7. …this is the wettest… getting inches…six inches…so hard and fast that…floods until water…floods my…three times this year…enough to keep the fort comfortable.

    …I’ve never heard a single word about it being depleted…water enters the aquifer…constant rate…the best water I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet and clean with no aftertastes…It’s pumped…to build head pressure…to our taps.

  8. Bullshit Sommelier says:

    I think you are a line cook at waffle house with an enormous dick.

    There, I fixed it for you, Salivating Sommelier

  9. California and all the liberal progressives, Jews, gang-bangers, illegal alien welfare parasites and other assorted FSA (there are more people on welfare in California than have jobs), fruits, Sodom and Gomorrah San Francisco, crappy movies, NSA supporting and enabling tech companies, and the rest of the nuts need to be split off from the rest of the USSA by a major earthquake and sink into the bottom of the ocean, for the good of mankind.

  10. BS – you do not mind if I call you BS, now do you? It is appropriate.

    Here is the thing – I suggest that it to grow food in an area ill-suited to it (because it is a fucking desert), and so requires huge amounts of water, is unwise, and you take that as some means to determine as to what I do for a living. Man, there is stupid, and then there is you. If you are a regular on this site, why do not you use your regular name, so we all can attach the comment to who you are at other times.

    Seriously, do you think I give one shit whether you believe what I say, or otherwise? I generally hope to add some value here. But you, under your BS guise, have as your only intent to repeat like a parrot with a 4 word vocabulary “LLPOH is a fraud”. I really appreciate the value you are adding.

    Excuse me now while I return to my trappings of wealth. In this case it is a fine single malt – I expect that my booze bill exceeds your income, so you now have something else to be envious about. Maybe one day, if you save your minimum wage for a few years, you can get yourself a nice bottle of Lagavullin and try some yourself. It will be worth the effort, I promise you.

  11. 1) Here in MN we’ve gotten so much rain that streams have turned into lakes and many of the lakes have no-wake restrictions, to avoid shoreline damage. If this isn’t helping the aquifers recharge nothing could. We’d need a good month without rain to get things to normal and let the flooded areas of the park system dry out.
    B) Can I go on welfare in California and still keep my money?

  12. I love the evaluations of Hawaii.

    The leeward areas of every island is and remains dry and will do so until the trade winds shift from North East to South West. Fat chance of that happening.

    Adiabatic cooling of the NE trades (moist and warm) as the wind is forced to rise over the volcanic structures (i.e. mountains) on each island insures that the windward sides of each island is constantly soaked and the air rises and the moisture is wrung out of it. By the time it flows back down the leeward sides of the mountains and islands, it is always dry. It will always be that way.

    The only thing Hawaii gets now and then is called a “Kona Storm” named for Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii and known for its’ dry climate. Hawaiian equivalent of a hurricane – but usually just a big tropical low. These storms then reverse the leeward/windward sides of the islands for a day or two or three and that’s when the lee sides get humongous amounts of rainfall that carve canyons as it runs off to the sea.

    Throughout the islands, large ditches are dug from the windward sides to the leeward side so every creek and stream bed flows into it, bringing water to the leeward side where it would normally be a scarce resource.

    Lived on Maui a long time – would still be there if I could have afforded to retire out there.


  13. For the helluva it, I did a quick search on the country’s climate over the ages. Found a gubment research project that basically covers NA from 150,000 years ago to today.

    Funny thing is that our world was once warmer than now, but sometimes cooler. It also has dry periods, temperate periods, glacial periods.

    But at nearly every turn, the Western US has been arid and a desert.

    Quick, we better through a few more trillion at a “problem” we have created ourselves.

    What cannot be sustained, won’t be. Using more fresh water than the earth can naturally produce will not continue indefinitely. Neither will eating more calories than it produces. And let us not forget using more energy than she can give us.

    Peak people, peak middle class, peak convenience. The era of hard-freaking-times is bearing down upon us, our children, and the very future of the human race.

    Meanwhile, what the earth wants to be, will be. Californication is a desert, was a desert, and will be a completely empty wasteland some year again. I’d bank on that.

  14. Llpoh, I am the guy that ordered a double portion of hashbrowns, smothered covered, with a side of grits n gravy. Remember?

    PS you misspelled ‘Lagavulin’, which oddly enough, I have had. It’s no Scoresby, but I would drink it in a pinch.

  15. Californication is an unfortunate yet blatant attempt at humor by some faggoty word whore also known as a screenwriter. Calipornia would have been enough but the cocksucker had to sound cute. I suspect his fucking boyfriend suggested it. I hate cute shit. If the asshole had called it Califuck, it would suit the purpose and it wouldn’t suck dick so hard. Fuck the name Californication. I suggest ‘Califuckyou’.

    Love you lots, TE. Notice I was condemning the jerk who came up with that abortion of a name for a TV show and not you.

  16. Bullshit, cut the crap, will you? You never had Lagavulin even if it was on tap. Pearl light is more your speed. They don’t have Lagavulin in the midnight mission in skid row. Run along now, we’ll see Saturday on POW.

  17. IIRC The Red Hot Chili Peppers used ‘Californication’ in one of their songs.

    But Californians, FTMP, suck, and they are moving to Texas to escape the overpriced market and debt they created.

  18. I typed Lagavullin as I was pretty damn sure knew I could not spell Laphroaig (roaigh?, roegh? whatever), my second favorite Islay.

    Keep trying, BS.

  19. Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers
    This song is mainly about the dark side of Hollywood, what lays underneath the glossy surface. The band might love the city of Los Angeles, but they saw first hand the effects the Hollywood lifestyle has on the rest of the world.

  20. @El, thanks for the love, back at ya. I’ve never seen the show, I think RHCP when I use/hear the word. And I believe the song is apt to the state, at least the state that exists in my mind concerning Cali.

    Just to clarify, and thank ya’

  21. @TE – At that latitude you will find desert, thats just how it goes. 25-30˚ Latitude on either side of the equator features a shit ton of the world’s deserts.

    As for water, LLPOH hit the nail on the head. Food, water, and even energy really aren’t that much of a true problem. We produce far more food/energy in the world than we could ever need, and have so much fresh water that people are raising full on gardens in the middle of the desert.

    I’ll go ahead and say it: Let the market decide the value of those commodities. Stop subsidizing farmers and watch food prices jump to where they are supposed to be. Stop subsidizing oil and we will stop burning through it at such an alarming rate. Stop subsidizing stupidity in CA/Nevada and you will see water tables returning to normal levels, albeit slowly.

    By the way, I’m not suggesting all of these at once. The US is limping along, the strain of any one of these plunge a significant portion of the populace into despair and kick off a Revolution lead by the barely literate.

    Start with the farmers IMO. Less push back as you only have the farm lobby to worry about, your rank and file idiot in America only sees “Farmers get hand outs” and doesn’t realize that they get a massive benefit from those very subsidies.

    Food’s so cheap in this country that only those with mental illnesses have trouble keeping food on their plate.

  22. @TPC, That one is good too!

    I, too, once believed that the earth had enough fresh water and food resources to continue population growth.

    I’m searching to re-find the article, but I believe it was the World Health Organization that just released the study showing that we consumed 8% MORE calories than the earth produced in the past two years. So we are already too heavily relying on chemical processing, with no forethought as to what that will do to our planet, or our gene pool.

    Thanks to modern, chemical farming, and the number of humans living in desert regions, we are using more fresh water than is produced by storms too.

    Neither of these things bodes well for the future of our species.

    The only way the modern world can survive is to sacrifice a whole bunch of useless eaters. Look around, it seems our fellow countrymen have been determined to be useless eaters #1.

    Planned obsolescence, and not for the third world (yet, they still kill off on their own), but for our families.


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