Dry conditions throughout the majority of the climate region, and for many areas, these dry conditions have been continuing for weeks on end. Texas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern Oklahoma were all anomalously warm last week and lacked a significant amount of precipitation. Due to these conditions, widespread one-class degradation were experienced in these areas of the climate region. The vast expansion of drought conditions in Texas and Louisiana led to an enlargement of D3 (Extreme Drought) and D4 (Exceptional Drought) conditions in parts of these states. On August 15th, D3-4 drought conditions were only observed in 10% of the southern climate region, versus 22% on August 22nd. The expansion of D4 drought conditions over this period was 1% to 6% of the region.
Outlined in this week's climate summary, flash drought is forecasted for the end of August/beginning of September for the Texas Panhandle, Northeast Texas, Southern Oklahoma, Southern Arkansas, and central Mississippi as the majority of the central United States is currently experiencing excessive heat warnings and advisories.