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Current Alaska Drought Maps

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

Drought in Alaska

Alaska is a land of extremes. As the largest state in the United States, it spans a vast geographical area that includes many different climates. For example, Southeast Alaska has a mild, maritime climate with mean annual temperatures over 40 °F, with some areas at sea level receiving over 200 inches of precipitation per year. In contrast, the North Slope has an Arctic climate with a mean annual temperature lower than 15 °F, where some areas receive less than 6 inches of precipitation annually—but snow covers the ground 6 to 8 months a year. 

Because of the great variations in climate and water resources, there are many facets of drought in Alaska. Impacts to hydropower and fisheries are a major concern in Southeast Alaska, while in mainland Alaska dry weather (even over a few weeks) can be a major contributor to wildfire (especially in the spring and summer), threaten community water supplies, and create problems for fish and other wildlife. Snow drought, coupled with warming temperatures, can disrupt transportation in frozen interior regions during the winter.  With temperatures in Alaska rising and the snow season becoming shorter, drought in the future may become a more significant problem than in the past, even if total precipitation increases. Extreme events, including flooding and drought, are expected to occur with higher frequency and intensity, including extreme wet and dry events. 

NIDIS supports eight regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) throughout the United States. In addition, NIDIS supports states outside these regions, like Alaska, 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. 

Alaska State Drought Resources

State Drought Agency: 

Alaska Department of Natural Resources

State Hazard Mitigation Plan: 

State of Alaska Hazard Mitigation Plan (2018)

State Climate Office: 

Alaska Climate Research Center

Alaska Current Conditions

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

Alaska Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Alaska River Stage Forecasts

Maximum Forecast Flood Category

Outlooks & Forecasts for Alaska

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

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures

Drought Outlooks for Alaska

Drought Is Predicted To...
Drought Is Predicted To...

Historical Drought Conditions in Alaska

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 Alaska 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 Alaska

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.

Dry Times Bi-Weekly Drought Newsletter
Issued every other Thursday, Dry Times is an email newsletter with the latest drought news, events, and data & maps.

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.