Western Drought Status Update: July 15, 2021
As of July 13, 2021, 89% of the West is in drought and 25% is in Exceptional (D4) Drought. Both are U.S. Drought Monitor records. Much of the West was drought free just over 14 months ago, but drought conditions began developing around May 2020. A poor summer 2020 monsoon season followed by snow drought in winter 2020-21 worsened conditions in California and the Southwest. Record-shattering temperatures and dry conditions in the Northwest in early summer 2021 caused conditions to rapidly deteriorate in a region that was already facing multi-year precipitation deficits.
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.