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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Rhode Island

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Rhode Island using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in Rhode Island. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Crop growth is stunted; planting is delayed
  • Fire danger is elevated; spring fire season starts early
  • Lawns brown early; gardens begin to wilt
0.0
of RI
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Irrigation use increases; hay and grain yields are lower than normal
  • Honey production declines
  • Wildfires and ground fires increase
0.0
of RI
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Specialty crops are impacted in both yield and fruit size
  • Producers begin feeding cattle; hay prices are high
  • Warnings are issued on outdoor burns; air quality is poor
0.0
of RI
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Crop loss is widespread; Christmas tree farms are stressed; dairy farmers are struggling financially
  • Well drillers and bulk water haulers see increased business
  • Water recreation and hunting are modified; wildlife disease outbreak is observed
0.0
of RI
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Rhode Island has experienced little or no exceptional (D4) drought, so there are no D4-level drought impacts recorded in the Drought Impact Reporter.
0
of RI
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Crop growth is stunted; planting is delayed
  • Fire danger is elevated; spring fire season starts early
  • Lawns brown early; gardens begin to wilt
0.0
of RI
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Irrigation use increases; hay and grain yields are lower than normal
  • Honey production declines
  • Wildfires and ground fires increase
0.0
of RI
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Specialty crops are impacted in both yield and fruit size
  • Producers begin feeding cattle; hay prices are high
  • Warnings are issued on outdoor burns; air quality is poor
0.0
of RI
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Crop loss is widespread; Christmas tree farms are stressed; dairy farmers are struggling financially
  • Well drillers and bulk water haulers see increased business
  • Water recreation and hunting are modified; wildlife disease outbreak is observed
0.0
of RI
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Rhode Island has experienced little or no exceptional (D4) drought, so there are no D4-level drought impacts recorded in the Drought Impact Reporter.
0
of RI
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Crop growth is stunted; planting is delayed
  • Fire danger is elevated; spring fire season starts early
  • Lawns brown early; gardens begin to wilt
0.0
of RI
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Irrigation use increases; hay and grain yields are lower than normal
  • Honey production declines
  • Wildfires and ground fires increase
0.0
of RI
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Specialty crops are impacted in both yield and fruit size
  • Producers begin feeding cattle; hay prices are high
  • Warnings are issued on outdoor burns; air quality is poor
0.0
of RI
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Crop loss is widespread; Christmas tree farms are stressed; dairy farmers are struggling financially
  • Well drillers and bulk water haulers see increased business
  • Water recreation and hunting are modified; wildlife disease outbreak is observed
0.0
of RI
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Rhode Island has experienced little or no exceptional (D4) drought, so there are no D4-level drought impacts recorded in the Drought Impact Reporter.
0
of RI
Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Updates Weekly  -  03/02/21
Updates Weekly  -  02/23/21
Updates Weekly  -  02/02/21

Explore Drought Conditions by City and County

Summary

View up-to-date drought conditions down to the city and county level, including temperature, and precipitation conditions, key drought indicators, outlooks, historical conditions, and water supply, agriculture, and public health maps.

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Drought in Rhode Island from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Rhode Island lasted 36 weeks beginning on May 19, 2015, and ending on January 19, 2016. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of September 29, 2020, where D3 affected 99.02% of Rhode Island land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.

Report Impacts

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. 

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