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Lightning strikes in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona
The Southwest Monsoon has started off strong, and forecasters are predicting the potential for a wet monsoon season this summer. What does this mean for short-term and long-term conditions in the region? Learn more in this drought status update.



Advancing Drought Science and Preparedness Across the Nation

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) is a multi-agency partnership that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, planning, and information at national, tribal, state, and local levels.

Current Conditions and Outlooks

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Drought categories show experts’ assessments of conditions related to dryness and drought including observations of how much water is available in streams, lakes, and soils compared to usual for the same time of year. 

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The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC's) Seasonal Drought Outlook is issued monthly on the third Thursday of each month. The Outlook predicts whether drought will emerge, stay the same, or get better in the next three months.

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U.S. Drought Monitor Category
Value Map Hex Color
D0 - Abnormally Dry #ffff00 64.9
D1 - Moderate Drought #ffcc99 42.5
D2 - Severe Drought #ff6600 27.6
D3 - Extreme Drought #ff0000 14.7
D4 - Exceptional Drought #660000 3.2
Drought Outlook Category
Value Map Hex Color
Drought persists #9b634a 32.1
Drought remains but improves #ded2bc 2.2
Drought removal likely #b2ad69 5.3
Drought development likely #ffde63 8.9
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NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) continues its partnership with the NASA DEVELOP Program, working with early-career scientists and university students. This nationwide program uses NASA Earth observations to address diverse environmental issues impacting communities. At the DEVELOP NCEI location, participants work on projects that focus primarily on climate
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This summer’s western wildfire season is likely to be more severe than average but not as devastating as last year’s near-record, according to an experimental prediction method developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The new method, detailed in a peer-reviewed study, analyzes precipitation, temperatures, drought, and other climate conditions in the
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In the western U.S., the impacts of drought conditions in the 21st century are increasingly evident as extended fire seasons, dwindling water supplies, and widespread tree mortality are becoming more common occurrences. Fundamentally, drought is a shortage of water that is driven by an imbalance between supply and demand. From a meteorological perspective, periods of low precipitation (i.e., the