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.
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United States: Water deficits to emerge this spring in the Appalachians, the Ohio River Valley, & the Northern Plains
Overall, conditions in many parts of the US are forecast to be drier than normal. Moderate to exceptional water deficits are expected in the East through the Appalachians, the Midwest through the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, across the Northern Plains and parts of the Central Plains, and in the Southwest. In the summer and early fall exceptional deficits are forecast on the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Surpluses are forecast in Idaho and northeastern Nevada, the shared border of Minnesota and Iowa, the Canadian and Rio Grande Rivers, and southern Florida.
Regions likely to encounter significant water deficits in the coming months include: the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys; southern Mexico; Guatemala and El Salvador; northern Brazil; Finland; Niger; southern Somalia; Zambia; Southeast Asia; and, Mongolia. Significant water surpluses are forecast for: central Argentina; Ireland and the UK; Tanzania; western Ethiopia; central Kazakhstan; northern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; western Borneo; West Java; and Southeast China. This watch list is based on ISciences' Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM) Global Water Monitor and Forecast issued 7 April 2016.
Water deficits may dominate the northern US from the Pacific Northwest eastward through Minnesota in the coming months, with surpluses in the Upper Mississippi. The forecast for California indicates a transition from deficits to surpluses by February. Surpluses may persist in the Central and Southern Plains and along Mississippi River tributaries. Extensive deficits are forecast March through May from the central Gulf Coast region northward through the Great Lakes region.
- Drought is forecast to persist in northern California, though some areas may have both water deficits and surpluses;
- Exceptional drought may persist in the Pacific Northwest;
- Severe water deficits are forecast for Minnesota;
- Exceptional water surpluses are forecast for much of Texas, and along the Red River, the Arkansas River, the Rio Grande River, and in western Nebraska; surpluses are also forecast in the surrounding states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona;
- A wide belt of moderate to exceptional surpluses is expected from the Central Plains eastward;
- Southeast states are forecast to have characteristics of both water deficits and surpluses.