Drought conditions worsening with parts of Shelby County now under a Severe Drought

Drought Monitor update 7/14/2022
Drought Monitor for the Mid-South as of Thursday, July 14, 2022
Drought Monitor for the Mid-South as of Thursday, July 14, 2022(WMC)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 11:43 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2022 at 1:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Every Thursday morning, the new U.S. Drought Monitor comes out, and this week’s update brings overall worsening conditions.

Portions of Shelby County are now considered to be in a Severe Drought.

The map uses five classifications: Abnormally Dry, showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: Moderate, Severe, Extreme and Exceptional.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures were observed over most of the region, with the warmest readings in western Tennessee. Additionally, the Mid-South has not received any substantial rain in a couple weeks, allowing for expansion of the Moderate Drought into eastern Arkansas.

Since June 1, Memphis is running well below-average for precipitation with 4.69 inches below “normal.”

But what does all this really mean for you? Below are the historically observed impacts for Tennessee. You can view impacts for other states here.

Drought Impacts for the state of Tennessee
Drought Impacts for the state of Tennessee(USDM)

It is important to note that, unlike most of the weather maps people see in the news, the U.S. Drought Monitor is not a forecast. In fact, it looks at observed data from previous weeks.

It’s a weekly assessment of drought conditions, based on how much precipitation did or didn’t fall. Drought is a slow-moving hazard, so you can be certain that an area will still be in drought if it doesn’t get rain. But it also may take more than one good rainfall to end a drought, especially if an area has been in drought for a long time.

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