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U.S. Drought Monitor: Puerto Rico

Drought & Dryness Categories
Value Map Hex Color % of PR Description
D0 – Abnormally Dry #ffff00 35.6 Abnormally Dry Abnormally Dry (D0) indicates a region that is going into or coming out of drought. View typical impacts by state.
D1 – Moderate Drought #fcd37f 8.3 Moderate Drought Moderate Drought (D1) is the first of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D2 – Severe Drought #ffaa00 0.0 Severe Drought Severe Drought (D2) is the second of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D3 – Extreme Drought #e60000 0 Extreme Drought Extreme Drought (D3) is the third of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D4 – Exceptional Drought #730000 0 Exceptional Drought Exceptional Drought (D4) is the most intense drought category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
Total Area in Drought (D1–D4) dmtotal 8.3 Total Area in Drought (D1–D4) The percent area of Puerto Rico that is currently in drought (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Drought Change Since Last Week
Value Map Hex Color Description
-3 #ff9900 3-Category Degradation Drought/dryness has worsened by 3 categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
-2 #ffd438 2-Category Degradation Drought/dryness has worsened by 2 categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
-1 #ffff73 1-Category Degradation Drought/dryness has worsened by 1 category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
0 #cccccc No Change There has been no change in drought conditions at this location.
+1 #cdffd4 1-Category Improvement Drought/dryness has improved by 1 category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
+2 #8ad48c 2-Category Improvement Drought/dryness has improved by 2 categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
+3 #52956a 3-Category Improvement Drought/dryness has improved by 3 categories, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Drought in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is characterized by a tropical marine climate with moderately high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The dry season lasts from December–March, followed by an early rainy season, a midsummer dry period in June and July, and a late rainy season. The fall wet season brings frequent tropical storms and hurricanes that can cause significant rainfall and flooding, while the dry season is known for its sunny and warm weather with relatively low levels of precipitation. The climate of Puerto Rico varies significantly across the main island due to its diverse topography and location. The coastal regions are generally warmer than the interior and mountainous areas, which experience more rainfall and lower temperatures.

Issues of drought and water scarcity are of great concern across the Caribbean due to its reliance on precipitation for human consumption and food production. Since the 1950s, Puerto Rico has experienced several major droughts. The extreme drought of 2014–2016 required the implementation of severe water restrictions that affected over a million people and resulted in more than $14 million in agricultural losses. Another drought in 2020 led to water rationing measures and a declaration of a State of Drought Emergency by the Governor. Desiccation and heat stress often associated with drought led to decreases in crop yields, increased mortality in both crops and livestock, and an increase in expenditures for feed, irrigation water, and energy.

Temperatures and seasonal rainfall patterns in Puerto Rico are changing, and climate models project increases in average temperatures and changes in precipitation where some locations may experience longer dry seasons, and shorter, wetter wet seasons.

NIDIS supports eight regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) throughout the United States. In addition, NIDIS supports states and territories outside these regions, like Puerto Rico, by delivering drought early warning information through Drought.gov; investing in drought research to address key scientific and societal needs; and supporting the development of new tools and products that serve the entire nation. 

Puerto Rico Current Conditions

A number of physical indicators are important for monitoring drought, such as precipitation & temperature, water supply (e.g., streamflow, groundwater), and soil moisture. Learn more about monitoring drought.

Puerto Rico Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Value Map Hex Color Description
Low #ff0000 Record Low Estimated streamflow is the lowest value recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Much Below #b12121 Much Below Normal ( Estimated streamflow is in the 0–10th percentile of historical streamflow values recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Below #ffa400 Below Normal (10th–25th Percentile) Estimated streamflow is in the 10th–25th percentile of historical streamflow values recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Normal #00ff00 Normal (25th–75th Percentile) Estimated streamflow is in the 25th–75th percentile of historical streamflow values recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Value Map Hex Color Description
Above #40dfd0 Above Normal (75th–90th Percentile) Estimated streamflow is in the 75th–90th percentile of historical streamflow values recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Much Above #0000ff Much Above Normal (>90th Percentile) Estimated streamflow is in the 90th–100th percentile of historical streamflow values recorded at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
High #000000 Record High Estimated streamflow is the highest value ever measured at this gauge on this day of the year. Learn more.
Not Ranked #ffffff Not Ranked A flow category has not been computed for this gauge, for example due to insufficient historical data or no current streamflow estimates.

Vegetation Health Index: Puerto Rico

Unfavorable Conditions
Range Map Hex Color
0 - 6 #ff00a0
6 - 12 #f00050
12 - 24 #ff7878
24 - 36 #ffaa00
36 - 48 #ff5
Favorable Conditions
Range Map Hex Color
48 - 60 #5f5
60 - 72 #0a0
72 - 84 #55f
84 - 100 #00a

Outlooks & Forecasts for Puerto Rico

Predicting drought in Puerto Rico depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. View more outlooks & forecasts.

Monthly Drought Outlook for Puerto Rico

Drought Is Predicted To...
Value Map Hex Color Description
Persist #9b634a Drought Persists During this time period, drought is forecast to persist.
Improve #ded2bc Drought Improves During this time period, drought is forecast to improve.
End #b2ad69 Drought Is Removed During this time period, drought removal is forecast.
Develop #ffde63 Drought Develops During this time period, drought development is forecast.
N/A #ffffff No Drought Present

Seasonal Drought Outlook for Puerto Rico

Drought Is Predicted To...
Value Map Hex Color Description
Persist #9b634a Drought Persists During this time period, drought is forecast to persist.
Improve #ded2bc Drought Improves During this time period, drought is forecast to improve.
End #b2ad69 Drought Is Removed During this time period, drought removal is forecast.
Develop #ffde63 Drought Develops During this time period, drought development is forecast.
N/A #ffffff No Drought Present

Historical Drought Conditions in Puerto Rico

Drought is a normal climate pattern that has occurred in varying degrees of length, severity, and size throughout history. Below, you can look back at past drought conditions for Puerto Rico according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. View more historical conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor
Value Map Hex Color Description
D0 #ffff00 D0 - Abnormally Dry Abnormally Dry (D0) indicates a region that is going into or coming out of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D1 #fcd37f D1 – Moderate Drought Moderate Drought (D1) is the first of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D2 #fa0 D2 – Severe Drought Severe Drought (D2) is the second of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D3 #e60000 D3 – Extreme Drought Extreme Drought (D3) is the third of four drought categories (D1–D4), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.
D4 #730000 D4 – Exceptional Drought Exceptional Drought (D4) is the most intense drought category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. View typical impacts by state.

The U.S. Drought Monitor (2000–present) depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country. Every Thursday, authors from NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center produce a new map based on their assessments of the best available data and input from local observers. The map uses five categories: Abnormally Dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought (D1–D4). Learn more.

Drought Resources for Puerto Rico

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

Drought Alert Emails
Get email updates when U.S. Drought Monitor conditions change for your location or a new drought outlook is released.

Regional Drought Status Updates
NIDIS & its partners issue regional updates covering drought conditions, outlooks/forecasts, and local impacts.

Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Get Involved: Submit Local Drought Impacts

Drought in your area? Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions.