Western Drought Status Update: January 21, 2022
Compared to one year ago, the area in drought in the western U.S. rose from 77% to 88%, while the area in Exceptional Drought (D4) dropped from 22% to 3%. December 2021 storms brought more than 200% of normal precipitation to a large area of California and Nevada and in the Rockies west of the Continental Divide. These storms improved the drought status by 1–2 categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, throughout much of the region. However, significant precipitation deficits still exist for almost the entire West over the last two years, and continued precipitation is needed over the coming months.
This four-page drought status update for the Western U.S. (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) provides timely information on the current drought status and outlook, water supply conditions, and wildfire impacts.