Well, here's something to cheer up Oregonians who are waiting for a dry, warm summer to arrive.
(As I write this it's 61 degrees at 2 pm, and it's been sprinkling off and on today; June has been unusually wet this year.)
The map shows how much additional precipitation is needed to get a long term drought index back to what I assume is only mildly droughtiness, minus 0.5.
Oregon, Washington, and Idaho is the main non-drought afflicted region in the United States. Parts or all of some other northern states also are OK, rain-wise. But most of the midwest and south is suffering big time.
Check out "Midwestern Drought Intensifies" on Climate Progress, where I found this map.
A mild snow-less winter, an unusually dry spring, and debilitating heat in May and June have created serious drought conditions in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, among other states.
Despite recent severe storms that dumped more than 7 inches of rain on Duluth, Minnesota, last week, (causing chaos, especially in the city zoo), much of the Midwest is experiencing severe water shortages exacerbated by record high temperatures. According to the National Weather Service, there is no end in sight.
Global warming directly worsens droughts because hotter temperatures dry out soils and lead to earlier snowmelt, which reduces vital streamflow during the dry season (see here). As Texas state climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon, explained last year:
“There is evidence that global warming has had an effect on the drought, primarily by increasing the surface temperature, which increases the drought severity by increasing evaporation and water stress, and by decreasing stream flow and water supply."