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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Montana

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 Montana 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 Montana. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops.
  • Some lingering water deficits
  • Pastures or crops not fully recovered
81.3
of MT
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
34.6
of MT
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop or pasture loss likely
  • Water shortages common
  • Water restrictions imposed
8.3
of MT
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Major crop/pasture losses
  • Widespread water shortages or restrictions
0.4
of MT
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses
  • Shortages of water creating water emergencies
0
of MT
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops.
  • Some lingering water deficits
  • Pastures or crops not fully recovered
81.0
of MT
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
34.5
of MT
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop or pasture loss likely
  • Water shortages common
  • Water restrictions imposed
8.3
of MT
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Major crop/pasture losses
  • Widespread water shortages or restrictions
0.4
of MT
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses
  • Shortages of water creating water emergencies
0
of MT
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops.
  • Some lingering water deficits
  • Pastures or crops not fully recovered
63.6
of MT
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Some damage to crops, pastures
  • Some water shortages developing
  • Voluntary water-use restrictions requested
32.0
of MT
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Crop or pasture loss likely
  • Water shortages common
  • Water restrictions imposed
8.3
of MT
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Major crop/pasture losses
  • Widespread water shortages or restrictions
0.4
of MT
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses
  • Shortages of water creating water emergencies
0
of MT
Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Updates Weekly  -  01/19/21
Updates Weekly  -  01/12/21
Updates Weekly  -  12/22/20

Drought in Montana from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Montana lasted 307 weeks beginning on May 16, 2000, and ending on March 28, 2006. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of September 12, 2017, where D4 affected 25.94% of Montana 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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