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Heavy Precipitation Provides Some Drought Relief
USAgNet - 11/18/2022

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, storminess chipped away and dryness and drought. Notably, on the 10th, Nicole became the first November hurricane to make landfall on the U.S. mainland since 1985, when Kate struck near Mexico Beach, Florida, on November 21. Nicole, a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds near 75 mph, moved ashore just south of Vero Beach, Florida, around 3 am EST. Nicole’s remnants eventually affected the entire eastern U.S., providing varying degrees of relief from autumn dryness.

Some of the heaviest rain, locally 4 inches or more, fell in the central and southern Appalachians and neighboring areas. The rain helped to boost streamflow in the upper reaches of the Ohio River basin, with runoff moving downstream as the drought-monitoring period ended. Farther west, a storm system produced heavy snow and local blizzard conditions in the north-central U.S., while parts of the West received drought-easing precipitation. However, many other areas of the country remained mostly dry.

Frigid conditions developed in conjunction with the Western storminess and expanded eastward, while much of the lingering warmth in the South and East was swept away, shortly after Nicole’s departure.

In the Midwest, heavy precipitation in the upper Great Lakes region provided drought relief, but many other areas of the Midwest experienced dry weather. Eastern Michigan was one area that had a notable increase in the coverage of abnormal dryness (D0) and moderate drought (D1). In contrast, heavy rain associated with the remnants of Hurricane Nicole fell in eastern sections of Ohio and Kentucky. Zanesville, Ohio, received a daily-record rainfall total of 2.20 inches on November 11. A day earlier in Minnesota, a winter-like storm system had delivered daily-record precipitation totals to Minnesota locations such as Hibbing (1.35 inches) and Brainerd (1.27 inches).


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