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ncdc.climate.2005 - NCDC Climate of 2005 U.S Drought DOC >...

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NCDC: Climate of 2005 - U.S. Drought DOC > NOAA > NESDIS > NCDC Search Field: NCDC / Climate Monitoring / Climate of 2005 / Annual / Drought / Help Climate of 2005 Annual Review U.S. Drought National Climatic Data Center, 13 January 2006 Global Summary ENSO Conditions U.S. Summary U.S. Drought National Drought Overview Regional Drought Overview Pre-instrumental Drought Perspective Significant Events Atlantic Hurricane Season Western U.S. Wildfire Season The data presented in this drought report are preliminary. Ranks, anomalies, and percent areas may change as more complete data are received and processed. National Drought Overview The year began with continued improvement in drought conditions over the Southwest. Drought worsened over the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies during the 2004-2005 winter, resulting in about 13 percent of the contiguous United States experiencing moderate to extreme drought* by the end of February. The storm track moved northward during spring, bringing rain and snow to the drought-ravaged northern sections of the http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/ann/drought-summary.html (1 of 8) [8/14/2009 9:42:42 AM]
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NCDC: Climate of 2005 - U.S. Drought West. The drought focus shifted to the southern Plains to Lower Great Lakes during March , beginning a persistent dry spell there that would last most of the year and push the national drought coverage to about 20 percent . Several short-lived dry episodes occurred in other regions throughout the year, notably across parts of the Northeast during the early summer , the Eastern Seaboard during late summer to early fall , across much of the nation during September , and from the Southwest across the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes at the end of the year . *This drought statistic is based on the Palmer Drought Index, a widely used measure of drought. The Palmer Drought Index uses numerical values derived from weather and climate data to classify moisture conditions throughout the contiguous United States and includes drought categories on a scale from mild to moderate, severe and extreme. The most extensive national drought coverage during the past 100 years (the period of widespread reliable instrumental records) occurred in July 1934 when 80 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate to extreme drought. Although the current drought and others of the 20th century have been
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