We had our turn at drought conditions towards the end of summer and early fall. Lately, we’ve dug ourselves out with strong fall cold fronts packing a lot in the precipitation department.
During this time, the western states have been blocked from Pacific storms thanks to persistent high-pressure ridges. Now, a pattern change will help with more precipitation.
Due to the blocking pattern, western states have been sitting without rainfall for weeks. Normally, these states dry out over the summer months, but around September and October, big storms help to add some precipitation. The Sierra Nevada soaks up most of it, but still some rain and snow gets through. Lately, nothing has made it into the Four Corners and other Rocky Mountain states.
Some areas in the Rockies and Four Corners states are running in a 10”+ deficit with some areas experiencing over 25 inches of deficit for the year.
Due to this, a short-term drought has developed in the Four Corners with nearly half of Utah and Arizona under severe drought conditions. 10 states between the West, Southwest, and the High Plains are experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions or drought. A little over 81% of California is abnormally dry.
The pattern that is being set up deals with two lows merging to bring added moisture. The first will be a low moving northeast from the Baja Peninsula into the Four Corners.
The second will be a Pacific storm diving into the west. Rain and snow will fall through the middle of the week. 1” to 3” of rainfall is expected between California and the Four Corner states. Some localized amounts to 5” are possible. Snow amounts through the end of the week will generally range from 1” to 5” but totals between 5” and over a foot will likely fall in the higher terrain of the Rockies Mountains.