The near-term forecast indicates exceptional deficits in the Lower Mississippi Valley and deficits nearly as intense through the South Atlantic States. Widespread moderate deficits are forecast from southern California through eastern Texas, with severe deficits near Houston. Moderate surpluses are forecast in the Great Lakes, and intense surpluses are forecast for eastern Nebraska, central Minnesota, and southeastern Idaho. After February deficits in the Lower Mississippi Valley and the South Atlantic State will moderate, deficits will spread in California, and widespread surpluses will emerge in the Northwest and along the Columbia, Missouri, and Yellowstone Rivers.
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The near-term forecast through January indicates several striking changes from the prior three months: a transition in the Gulf Coast from water surplus to deficit, a broad path of deficits in the South Atlantic States, and surpluses from the Upper Midwest through the Ohio River Valley into the Northeast. In the spring normal water conditions should return to the Ohio River Valley and the Northeast, surpluses will continue to emerge in the Upper Mississippi, and deficits will moderate in the Lower Mississippi, Texas, and the South Atlantic States.