Drought Update for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: March 5, 2021
This drought update is issued in partnership between the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the University of the Virgin Islands. The purpose of the update is to communicate a potential area of concern for drought expansion and/or development within Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands based on recent conditions and the upcoming three month forecast.
NIDIS and its partners will issue these updates every two months via email and on Drought.gov. Subscribe for these U.S. Caribbean drought updates here.
Drought conditions continue to prevail across northwest Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Expansion of abnormally dry/moderate drought and some additional deterioration is likely into late April, before the usual onset of the wet season.
- Puerto Rico Conditions: Light passing showers continued across the island, preventing any further deterioration across eastern sections, but it was not enough to improve burgeoning dryness and drought conditions in the northwest and southern slopes of Puerto Rico.
- U.S. Virgin Islands Conditions: Drought conditions continue to prevail across Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix.
- Puerto Rico Impacts: An increased number of grass fires have been observed across northwest Puerto Rico, particularly in the vicinity of Anasco, Rincon, Moca, and San Sebastian.
- U.S. Virgin Islands Impacts: Drought is a growing concern for many farmers. Soil and vegetation in the USVI is visibly showing signs of distress such as soil cracking and decreased soil moisture.
- Looking Ahead: The long term forecast suggests drought conditions are likely to expand and/or worsen during the next few months.