Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Drought May Worsen for Midwest This Winter

The latest US Drought Monitor update includes drought conditions covering much of the country, including the Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and portions of the Southeast. According to the latest indications, this drought may not be letting up for the Midwest. While it will likely be dented in the Southeast and Southwest, the Midwest usually does not fare well in precipitation during an El Nino.

During El Ninos in the winter, we see warm conditions overspreading much of western Canada and the northern US in general. Cool and wet conditions are observed across much of the southern US, while the Ohio Valley and Midwest tend to be on the warm and dry side of things.

My concern rests on the latest heat wave and associated worsening of drought conditions over much of the Central US. I find it likely that an El Nino regime will set up going into fall, and if this were to happen, we could see much of the Great Lakes/Midwest region continuing to spiral into worsening drought conditions.

There remains a lot of the atmosphere that could very well change things for the wetter in these areas, however a typical El Nino will usually frown upon much of the Great Lakes and Midwest for precipitation. This scenario will have to be closely watched as we enter the fall season and find out more information on what the atmosphere is thinking of doing this winter.


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