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U.S. Drought Monitor: Puerto Rico

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of PR
Drought Change Since Last Week

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; 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

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Vegetation Health Index: Puerto Rico

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Favorable Conditions

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

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Seasonal Drought Outlook for Puerto Rico

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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

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.