Current Drought Conditions in the United States

image description

Rebekah Gates

Water Resources Planner

Drought conditions slightly worsened across the United States this past month. The nationwide Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) increased from 162 to 179 as the total percent coverage of abnormally dry (D0), moderate (D1), severe (D2), extreme (D3), and exceptional (D4) drought conditions all increased on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) scale. Hurricane Ian hit southwestern Florida, and moved inland toward South Carolina, then up into the Northeast. The heavy rainfall alleviated drought across these two regions, but brought flooding to the Florida Peninsula as more than 10 inches of rainfall doused the state in some areas. The remainder of the hurricane provided abundant rainfall to the Northeast from Maryland up to New Jersey. The Rockies also experienced heavy precipitation in the northern part of the mountain range, causing drought improvements across the region from Idaho to Montana. Conversely, the South, particularly the western Gulf Coast and the Ozarks, continued to degrade due to dry conditions and minimal rainfall. Oklahoma has a 30-day precipitation deficit of over 4 inches in parts of the state.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Drought conditions in Texas began to increase again this past month, with pockets of extreme (D3) and exceptional drought (D4) developing in the panhandle and central Texas. The southern half of the state and Big Bend region remain fairly drought-free, but abnormally dry (D0) conditions have begun to creep back in. Central Texas has only received less than 0.10 inches of rainfall over the last month.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Oklahoma’s drought conditions also increased this past month. The majority of the state is covered in extreme (D3) and exceptional drought (D4), resulting in deteriorated pasture land and low stream flows and reservoir levels.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Drought conditions worsened in Louisiana, as the state experienced a 97-point increase on the Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) over the past month. Nearly all of the state is experiencing abnormally dry (D0) drought conditions.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Drought conditions improved in New Mexico, as the monsoon rain season brought alleviation to the central and northern portions of the state. Additionally, heavy rainfall is forecast in the state for the upcoming week.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Georgia’s drought conditions increased this past month, as a large area of abnormally dry (D0) drought conditions developed in the center of the state.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Florida’s drought conditions decreased over the last month, with abnormally dry (D0) conditions clearing up in the southern peninsula.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

North Carolina’s drought conditions also decreased this past month, as the lingering drought along the coast was alleviated, leaving only a small corner of drought conditions in the western part of the state.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Drought conditions decreased in Virginia, as rainfall along the southeastern seaboard brought coastal drought relief.

(The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.)

Forecast

Over the next week, the greatest precipitation accumulations in the U.S. are predicted to occur in the Northeast, from Maine down to Pennsylvania, and across the southern sections of New Mexico and Texas. Moderate precipitation is forecast for the Southeast along with Michigan. The entire Western United States and High Plains are predicted to receive no rainfall. To check out the forecast near you, try the NOAA Quantitative Precipitation Forecast map.

 

Recommended Links

Drought Conditions in Texas and the United States

Reservoir Levels in Texas

Streamflow Conditions in Texas

Drought Restrictions in Texas

Additional Information and Data

Drought Conditions in Texas and the United States

Reservoir Levels in Texas

Streamflow Conditions in Texas

Groundwater Levels in Texas

Drought Restrictions in Texas

image description

Rebekah Gates is a Water Resource Planner in Houston, Texas.