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Rainfall maps showcase the haves and the have-nots for 2014

Five and a half month’s worth of 2014 U.S. rainfall.  The severe drought area is easy to see.
Five and a half month’s worth of 2014 U.S. rainfall. The severe drought area is easy to see.

As the southwestern drought intensifies (there may be no rain for the remainder of the month in the hardest hit drought areas of California and Nevada), many places east of the Rockies have seen a plethora of rainfall in 2014. It is easy to see where the rainfall haves and the rainfall have-nots are located (Fig. 1).

For example, from the eastern and central parts of Montana southeast to Texas, and then in a broad brush stroke to the East Coast, large regions have seen near to well above average annual rainfall to date - morning of Jun. 14, 2014. From eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming, across the Northern Plains to the western Great Lakes, some places have netted from 150 to 200 percent of average annual rainfall (Fig. 2).

For the first 13 days of June 2014, parts of the Central Plains (Nebraska and Kansas), as well as Tennessee, have seen more than 400 percent of average monthly rainfall to date (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4).

The four southwestern states (California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona) have been the most rain-starved region of the U.S., not just this year, but for several years in a row. For this year alone, most of the southwest has received below 50 percent of average annual rainfall to date, with some places recording a scant 10 percent or less. No wonder the drought keeps intensifying!

Computer models, suggest that this weather pattern will continue unabated for at least the next two weeks. This means that the eastern edges of the larger drought region (Fig. 5) will be shrinking westward, while the main drought area will see no relief.

For the next seven days, perhaps too much rain is expected across parts of Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Up to almost seven inches of rainfall is bulls-eyed for southern Minnesota and northern Iowa (Fig. 6).

Across the Florida peninsula, sea breeze interactions, within a very moisture-laden atmospheric environment, will lead to daily, mostly daytime, heavy thunderstorm activity.

As always, local rainfall amounts often reach double the overall predicted amounts. Hence, look for well-above average, double-digit week-long rainfall totals for the upper Mississippi River Valley and well above average weekly amounts of up to four inches pock marking the Florida peninsula.

© 2014 H. Michael Mogil

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