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The Colorado River provides water to more than 40 million people.
A NIDIS-funded study found that drought assessment error is relatively low with short climatology lengths, and error can increase substantially when using longer reference frames where climate is changing rapidly.

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 63.0
D1 - Moderate Drought #ffcc99 42.6
D2 - Severe Drought #ff6600 25.3
D3 - Extreme Drought #ff0000 10.4
D4 - Exceptional Drought #660000 2.1
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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News & Events
By Zachary H. Hoylman, R. Kyle Bocinsky, and Kelsey G. Jencso, Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana. This article summarizes the study, Drought assessment has been outpaced by climate change: empirical arguments for a paradigm shift, published in Nature Communications. Click on this video for a short presentation on this work. Key Findings Climate change shifts the
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News & Events
Timely information on drought impacts is important for developing and evaluating drought indicators, documenting drought events, reducing future risks, and enhancing public awareness. To address needs for better understanding and monitoring of localized drought impacts, this study recruited volunteers from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network to report on how weather
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News & Events
On August 25, 2022, Marina Skumanich, Program Specialist with NIDIS/National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion of the Mesonet at SD State, South Dakota's live weather network, as part of the Upper Missouri River Basin Soil Moisture and Plains Snow Build-Out project.  This project, led by the U.S. Army Corps