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Data Snapshots: Drought Outlook for May 2014
Drought conditions across a large swath of the Western United States are unlikely to improve during May, according to the Monthly Drought Outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. From the state of Washington south to the Mexican border, then east into Texas and north into the High Plains, increased chances for warmer-than-average temperatures and a normal decline in the amount of precipitation expected across the West and Southwest in late spring mean that existing drought conditions will likely remain in place or become worse.
The map at right shows the monthly drought outlook for May 2014. Yellow areas show where drought is likely to develop. Areas where drought is already present and likely to persist or worsen are shown in brown—not a hopeful outlook for California or southeastern Colorado. Tan areas show where drought conditions are likely to improve, and green areas show where drought is likely to end. Drought is likely to expand in southern Texas, but the eastern portion of the southern Great Plains is likely to see drought improve or end.
At the end of April 2014, drought covered close to 40% of the contiguous United States. While the U.S. Drought Monitor for April 29, 2014 shows 100% of both California and Nevada in the grips of moderate to exceptional drought, no areas east of the Mississippi River have been judged in these categories.