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23

counties with USDA Drought Disaster Designations (primary)

~132,500

Michigan residents in areas of drought, according to the Drought Monitor

28th

wettest March on record (since 1895)

41st

wettest January—March on record (since 1895)

Current Michigan Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of MI
54.0
11.0
3.2
0.0
0.0
14.2
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions

Experimental
Experimental

Drought in Michigan

Like other states in the Upper Midwest region, climate in Michigan is generically described as humid continental, with warm-hot summers, cold winters, and no dry season, with precipitation relatively evenly distributed throughout the year. Averaged across the state, Michigan receives about 33 inches of precipitation per year, and months without any precipitation are rare.

Mild meteorological drought conditions are not uncommon in Michigan, but meteorological droughts reaching severe thresholds are infrequent and generally of short duration. Historical data suggest that northern portions of the state are slightly more drought-prone than southern sections of the state. Michigan’s rather even seasonal distribution of precipitation and relatively low evapotranspiration rates  help to reduce periods of drought relative to other areas of the region. Following an observed maximum during the 1930s, severe droughts in the state have become less common over time, a trend associated with increasing precipitation across the state. One notable exception to this trend concerns the occurrence of rapidly developing “flash droughts,” which have increased in frequency in some areas of the state in recent decades.

Despite overall recent trends of decreasing drought risk, long term projections of future climate in the region suggest a reversal in the future associated with warming temperatures, greater rates of evapotranspiration, more erratic precipitation, and lower soil moisture levels during the warm season. In particular, shorter-duration seasonal droughts are expected to worsen during the summer, even though overall annual precipitation rates may increase. 

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

Michigan State Drought Resources

Michigan Current Conditions

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

Michigan Precipitation Conditions

Inches of Precipitation
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%

Michigan Temperature Conditions

Maximum Temperature (°F)
60
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0

Michigan Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Michigan Soil Moisture Conditions

20 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100
0–100 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100

Outlooks & Forecasts for Michigan

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

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
1.75
Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures
100%

Drought Outlooks for Michigan

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

Historical Drought Conditions in Michigan

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 Michigan according to 3 historical drought indices. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a monthly depiction of drought based on precipitation (with data going back to 1895). And the paleoclimate data uses tree-ring reconstructions to estimate drought conditions before we had widespread instrumental records, going back to the year 0 for some parts of the U.S. 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 Michigan

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.

North Central U.S. Climate and Drought Summary and Outlook Webinars
This webinar series, which covers the region from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, includes a summary of past and current conditions, potential and ongoing impacts across sectors (e.g., agriculture, water resources, navigation), and outlook information.

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.