NOAA projects persistent drought conditions stretching from Texas to California this fall


(NEXSTAR) – Some of the parched hills across the west that have been ravaged by fire in recent months will see little relief this fall.

New maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict drought-like conditions impacting nearly all of the desert southwest and the most populated regions of California as well as much of west Texas and southern Oregon.

NOAA tweeted Thursday that the drought conditions will begin to settle in across the great plains in October, with California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming contending with widespread persistent drought conditions through the end of the year.

The above forecast is a seasonal projection, but NOAA’s Drought Monitor project also released new maps on current drought conditions Thursday showing nearly every state outside of Appalachia and the deep south dealing with at least some level of abnormally dry conditions.

A La Niña weather pattern, characterized by warmer than typical conditions in the west, is partially behind the western drought projections.

“The ongoing La Niña results in drought persistence and expansion being forecast through the end of 2020 across much of the southern tier,” tweeted the Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation projection maps from the same agency suggest there may actually be some drought relief ahead for hard-hit wildfire zones in Oregon and Washington state, where higher than average rainfall is projected for the three months ahead.


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