Southwest and California Drought Status Update: May 2021
As of May 18, 2021, 93% of the Southwest and California was in drought, with 38% of this region in Exceptional (D4) Drought, the highest level. Twelve months prior, most of the West was drought-free, but drought conditions began developing around May 2020. High temperatures and very low rainfall totals through spring and summer of 2020 set new records across the Southwest, and the combination of extremely low soil moisture leading into winter and snow drought through winter means that run-off in the spring of 2021 has been very low.
This four-page drought status update for California and the Southwest (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah) provides timely information on the current drought status and outlook, water supply conditions, and wildfire impacts.