Chilly conditions gripped much of the lower 48 States, with weekly temperatures averaging more than 10 degrees F below normal into the Plains and Midwest.
Light to moderate snows across eastern Kansas and northern Missouri contributed to a 60-day surplus in this region, which was enough for some improvement. Little or no precipitation fell on the upper Midwest as a whole, and the rest of the Mississippi Valley remained at status-quo.
With the exception of light to moderate snows from the Oklahoma Panhandle northeastward across Kansas, southern Nebraska, and into Missouri and Iowa, and light rain in eastern Texas, little or no precipitation fell on the remainder of the central and southern Plains, Miskus says.
In south-central and northeastern Kansas, where snow amounts were highest, drought was improved by one category. Most areas in Texas and southern Oklahoma showed few changes.
Little or no precipitation was reported in the Southwest as several locations in this region have yet to receive any measurable precipitation during 2014, Miskus says. The lack of appreciable winter precipitation has accumulated short-term deficits as most locations from southern California eastward into New Mexico have measured less than 25% of normal precipitation the past 60 days.
Most of the area remains free of drought, save little pockets in the Northeast and along the coast. Late-period rains fell on the lower Mississippi Valley, with heavier bands of rain oriented from southwest to northeast occurring in central Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central Alabama.
In the mid-Atlantic, sub-freezing air at the surface and mild air aloft generated a dangerous ice storm in parts of West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Next week will review any effects of the ice and snow storm that hit an area stretching from Atlanta, Ga., to Boston, dumping several inches of snow along the coast and closing government offices in Washington, D.C.