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North Carolina coastal inlet, with dry grasses.
How do we define flash drought? This literature review synthesizes flash drought research to date and provides a basis for future research.

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

% of U.S.
The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0 - Abnormally Dry
56.3
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1 - Moderate Drought
38.0
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
D2 - Severe Drought
25.7
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3 - Extreme Drought
15.6
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4 - Exceptional Drought
7.0

Drought Outlook Category

% of U.S.
The color with the hex code #9b634a identifies:
Drought persists
32.1
The color with the hex code #ded2bc identifies:
Drought remains but improves
2.2
The color with the hex code #b2ad69 identifies:
Drought removal likely
5.3
The color with the hex code #ffde63 identifies:
Drought development likely
8.9
Source(s):

NDMC, NOAA, USDA

Source(s):

CPC

Updates Weekly  -  02/23/21
Updates Monthly  -  02/18/21
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News & Events
Takeaways from the NIDIS Virtual Flash Drought Workshop Flash drought has serious real-world implications. The 2017 Northern Plains flash drought resulted in fires that burned 4.8 million acres and U.S. agricultural losses in excess of $2.6 billion dollars.1 Neither the drought’s swift onset nor its severity were forecasted. Episodes like this have sparked intense interest in flash drought in
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NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) has launched the redesigned U.S. Drought Portal (www.drought.gov) to better serve stakeholders, decision makers, the media, and the public. The new website features updated content and new interactive architecture designed to provide actionable, shareable information and easy-to-understand graphics describing current
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2020 USDM Weekly Maps Animation This animation displays the weekly drought maps published by the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) during 2020. Drought in 2020 began with the Northwest, Four Corners, and Texas in drought and ended with intense drought from the Plains to the West Coast, with a large area in the Southwest and West Texas in Exceptional Drought (D4), the highest level. Florida went