NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - While forecasters warn residents in Southeastern Louisiana to brace for a wet week, it turns out the area could use the rain.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's drought monitor lists most of the region as being in "moderate drought."
Tangipahoa and Washington parishes technically fall under the "abnormally dry" ranking in the drought monitor, published weekly in cooperation with the University of Nebraska.
2015 has started on a dry note, with the rain deficit for the year now totaling roughly 3 inches. That deficit could be wiped out within the next few days, as the National Weather Service forecasts total accumulations in the 3-5 inch range.
"A pacific jet wrapping around an upper level trough digging south across Texas and Mexico is sending a surge of moisture into the Gulf Coast Region," according to the Forecast Discussion on the weather service website.
Though technically in drought, the shortfall here pales in comparison to the parched earth out West.
The vast majority of California, entering its fourth year of drought, qualifies as being in at least "extreme drought." A huge swath of Central California, including agriculturally-rich lands, are under the most severe category of "exceptional drought." In January, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency, directing state agencies to take steps to manage the shortage and calling on citizens to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
Many California communities are considering surcharges on water to encourage conservation.