Although some received it in the form of snow that they would rather leave in the last season, moisture kept drought from re-emerging for parts of the Plains during April.
Of course we can’t get through a spring month without seeing some sort of severe storms too. Those brought large hail, damaging winds and even tornadoes to portions of the southern Plains.
They also brought some welcome moisture. That moisture was not as widespread as some would have hoped in parts of the southern Plains as they remained steadily in drought. For the southern Plains, May and June are typically the wettest months of the year so how much rain tracks across the area coming up will be a big factor in the intensity of the drought and how long it sticks around.
For the southern Plains, the long-term trends do not show favorably for precipitation as May is forecast to include below average precipitation from Texas into southwest Kansas.
Looking further out, moisture looks to stay below seasonal norms for most of the central United States even through July.
This will likely lead to an increase in the area of the southern Plains impacted by drought, as well as worsening drought conditions in the next several months.
Meanwhile for temperatures, those are expected to trend above average for May in the southern to central Plains. As we head into summer, it looks like much of the lower 48 will have temperatures above normal through the next three months.
We continue to watch for conditions to point toward the switch to ENSO-Neutral from La Nina. Once this occurs, ENSO-Neutral is forecast to remain into the summer months. There continues to be a considerable amount of uncertainty on what could happen globally beyond summer.
I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for the next update.
Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.