“Rapid onset drought” potential increases, what you need to know.

Climate Prediction Center issues advisory warning of a “flash drought” possible
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 8:06 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - After a spring riddled with tornadoes, destructive hail, record floods and late season snows, it is difficult to think that we could be on the verge of entering into a drought. Unfortunately, after an abnormally dry May, and a long-term forecast that looks bone dry, the Climate Prediction Center issued a “rapid onset drought” advisory in its latest 8-14 day hazards outlook. Noting that the potential for a “flash drought” looks ever more likely for areas in the Midwest, including a good chunk of the TV6 viewing area.

Rapid Onset Drought is likely within the next 8-14 days.
Rapid Onset Drought is likely within the next 8-14 days.(KWQC)

In May 2022, the Climate Prediction Center began issuing an experimental Rapid Onset Drought risk product within the Day 8–14 U.S. Hazards Outlook. This product highlights areas where rapid drought development (sometimes known as “flash drought”) may occur in the coming 2–4 weeks as depicted by the U.S. Drought Monitor. This experimental variable uses initial conditions, such as dryness, and temperature and precipitation outlooks during the next two weeks to communicate the risk of rapidly-developing drought.

Due to a developing pattern shift in our jet stream, a much drier and warmer pattern will be locked in place through the next several days. According to the GFS and EURO long-range models, little, if any precipitation can be expected through the end of the month. On top of very little precipitation, excessive heat will build in as well. This duo of weather extremes aids in the rapid development of drought.

Very little rainfall is expected over the next 10 days.
Very little rainfall is expected over the next 10 days.(KWQC)