The best place to go is to the Climate Prediction Center to see how much drought is going on and what their thoughts are on the future of drought. Apparently they don’t think there is enough drought west of one of the current baseball epicenters, St. Louis, and they have foretold persisting drought where it already is for the most part, and also that it will spread northwest into the Pacific Northwest (2nd map below).
First, the current scene, as rendered in the “Drought Monitor“, hosted by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, aka, Big Red:
Below, CPC’s forecast through the end of this year (December 31st), using a colored font here for a little razzle dazzle:
Summary: “UGH-LEEEE–EEEEEE”, west of a line from Detroit to El Paso.
Fortunately these forecasts are not THAT good (it sez so under the map; “use caution for applications–such as for crops” (Hell, that’s why I looked at it!!!! (hahahahaha); in essence, “don’t plant crops based on this forecast.”
But, its the best we can do. You wouldn’t want to go too far against it. Don’t plant dryland rice in Nebraska; maybe hedge toward prickly pear.
One aspect about the Southwest is that it takes only a few storm days to clobber these predictions, and those few storm days, as pointed out in the explanatory paragraph in the CPC map above, are largely unforecastable except in the first week ahead. Great news!
So, with an “El Nina-La Nada” season, such as we have now (not much going on the tropical Pacific Ocean south of us to hang a climate prediction on), doesn’t mean we can’t have decent rains in the next few months as we had last year when droughty projections were also made. But, as you know, this keyboard is always hopeful, overly so sometimes.
Interestingly, with unusually heavy rains for October on the doorstep for central and northern California, this prediction will take a bit of a hit over the next week.