Extreme rainfall from Tropical Storm Debby virtually wiped out long-standing drought across Florida, but continued dry weather across the rest of the contiguous U.S. led to the most widespread area of abnormal dryness in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor report.
Florida: Rapid Reversal
Elsewhere: Drought WorsensDebby brought widespread rainfall totals of 5 inches or more to much of central and northern Florida, particularly from the 24th through the 26th. Some locations in the northern part of the Sunshine State logged over 20 inches of rain.
Despite the moderate (level 1) to extreme (level 3) drought conditions that preceded Debby's arrival, the torrential rainfall still led to severe flooding. As expected, this week's Drought Monitor report removed all drought and dryness categories from those areas.
For the Lower 48, the percentage area in "abnormally dry" (level 0 or worse) conditions reached 72%, an all-time high in the Drought Monitor era. The percentage area in drought (levels 1-4) reached 51%, the eighth-highest weekly level in 652 weeks of data. The expansion of the drought nationally is particularly remarkable considering that most of Florida's drought and dryness was wiped out!Drought conditions intensified across most other areas of the country over the past week. Outside of Florida, substantial seven-day rainfall totals mostly fell on areas that were already drought-free, while areas in drought received little or no rainfall.
As a result, many areas of the country saw the drought either expand or intensify, and in many cases, both.
Colorado: The percentage of the state in extreme (level 3) drought jumped from 27% to nearly 46%, the highest level since September 2, 2003. For the first time since May 13, 2003, the entire state was classified in some level of drought. Hundreds of homes have burned in wildfires across the state this month, most recently in Colorado Springs, which established a new June record high of 101 degrees on Tuesday.
Indiana:Drought Grows Nationally Even As Florida Gets Soaked - weather.comThe percentage areas in severe (level 2) and extreme (level 3) drought skyrocketed to 69% and 23%, respectively, both establishing new state records for the 21st century. Indianapolis has only recorded 0.05 inch of rain so far in June and may establish a new low for monthly precipitation; the existing record is 0.07 inch in March 1910.
Indianapolis also established a new record high for the month of June on Thursday at 104 degrees, surpassing the previous June record of 102 last set in 1988.
Arkansas: The percentage of severe (level 3) drought jumped to nearly 32%, the highest level in the Natural State since February 7, 2006. Little Rock has received less than a tenth of an inch of rain in the past three weeks, and topped out at a sizzling 107 degrees on Thursday, breaking the city's all-time June record of 105 that had just been tied on Monday.