The drought conditions in some of the western states are as bad as they have been in recorded history. The U.S. Drought Monitor measures this data across the country. Its measure of the worst level of drought exists in large portions of California, Washington and Oregon. Colorado and Montana have been hit hard. The worst situation is in Nevada.
Once a year, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, issues its NOAA Winter Outlook. The one for 2021 covers December of this year through February 2022. The data covers three primary weather conditions: precipitation, temperature and drought.
Temperatures are likely to be higher across the South than normal and lower in the Northwest. Precipitation likely will be less than normal from southern California across Arizona and New Mexico to southern Texas. It also likely will be below normal in Florida. Precipitation is likely to be above average in the upper Midwest and Northwest.
In terms of drought forecast, the states where conditions are worst in the country now are likely to remain the same or deteriorate further. The situation is likely to worsen in the Dakotas.
The NOAA forecast also includes a category identified as “developing drought.” Several areas of the country that have been largely been drought-free are likely to be hit this winter. Some states do not face this trouble. The authors wrote: “The Pacific Northwest, northern California, the upper Midwest, and Hawaii are most likely to experience drought improvement.”
Drought will spread in Texas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. It will begin to appear in parts of North and South Carolina.
The state where drought is most likely to become widespread is Florida, where the entire southern half of the state is in danger.