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U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Drought Monitor: U.S. Virgin Islands

Drought & Dryness Categories

Drought in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is a small territory to the east of Puerto Rico that consists of three main islands—St Thomas, St Croix, and St John—and a few smaller, mostly unpopulated islands. Due to its geographical location in the center of the Caribbean, the USVI has two distinct seasons—the hurricane (wet) season from August to November and the dry season for the remainder of the year. Typically, about 40% of the annual rainfall occurs in the 3 wettest months, from September to November. Typical of many tropical islands, easternmost and leeward areas have the greatest aridity and sometimes feature vegetation (e.g., cacti) and landscapes (e.g., lack of trees) more typical of tropical dry forest and grasslands than a tropical rainforest.

Impacts from drought can be consequential since there are no significant sources of surface water (e.g., perennial rivers) and minimal groundwater due to the high relief of the islands. Most of the population draws their water from cisterns that collect rooftop water, and the rest are dependent on groundwater. Many must purchase water purified by reverse osmosis when there are no other sources. Drought also parches pastures and dries up ponds, which directly harms food and livestock production across the islands. With temperatures continuing to rise incrementally, future droughts should increase in number and be more impactful, with greater impacts on agriculture, water sources and community water collection in the territory.

NIDIS supports eight regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) throughout the United States. In addition, NIDIS supports states and territories outside these regions, like the U.S. Virgin Islands, 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. 

Outlooks & Forecasts for Arizona

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

Monthly Drought Outlook

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Seasonal (3-Month) Drought Outlook

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Drought Resources for the U.S. Virgin Islands

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

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.