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23

counties with USDA Drought Disaster Designations (primary)

0

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

18th

driest April on record (since 1895)

28th

wettest January—April on record (since 1895)

Current Virginia Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of VA
4.3
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions

Experimental
Experimental

Drought in Virginia

Drought conditions in Virginia are assessed by the Virginia Drought Management Task Force (VA DMTF), a collaboration of drought experts from various government agencies in Virginia and West Virginia, and organized by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Members of the VA DMTF meet on an as-needed basis when drought conditions are present or expected to develop across any portion of Virginia. They also submit their drought condition recommendations to the National Drought Mitigation Center for updates to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map. The VA DMTF evaluates variables including rainfall, streamflow, groundwater levels, regional climate, soil moisture, water storage in reservoirs, ecological conditions, municipal water restrictions, and the time of year. These conditions are closely monitored and can rapidly change, especially during the summer months, which bring about higher evaporation rates. Through this partnership, DEQ makes recommendations for Drought Stage declarations that help local watershed managers make vital water usage decisions.

Virginia generally receives over 40 inches of precipitation per year and is historically considered “water rich." However, droughts are not uncommon, and Virginia has a history of multi-year droughts, including the recently experienced record-breaking droughts of 1999–2002, 2007–2008, and 2010–2012. Virginia also experienced a high-impact drought during the late summer and fall of 2023 that was a primary factor in several major wildfires, including the Matts Creek Fire in the Jefferson National Forest. Fifteen Virginia localities also qualified for USDA emergency loans due to their severe (D2) to extreme (D3) drought designations. Droughts in Virginia and across the Southeast can have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, water availability, and wildfires. Drought conditions can also develop rapidly, especially when the lack of rain and high temperatures combine to quickly increase the loss of water from the landscape via evapotranspiration. There is increased regional awareness of how these rapid-onset droughts, sometimes referred to as "flash droughts," can cause significant agricultural economic impacts and supply concerns to other water users.

NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) launched the Southeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) in 2020, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Southeast DEWS is a network of regional and national partners that share information and coordinate actions to help communities in the region cope with drought.

Reach out to Meredith Muth, the Regional Drought Coordinator for this region, for more information, or sign up for the Southeast DEWS newsletter.

Virginia State Drought Resources

Virginia Current Conditions

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

Virginia Precipitation Conditions

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

Virginia Temperature Conditions

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

Virginia Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Virginia Soil Moisture Conditions

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

Outlooks & Forecasts for Virginia

Predicting drought in Virginia 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 Virginia

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

Historical Drought Conditions in Virginia

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 Virginia 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 Virginia

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.

Southeast DEWS Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for the Southeast.

Southeast Climate Monthly Webinars
This webinar series provides the Southeast region with timely information on current and developing climate conditions, such as drought, floods, and tropical storms, as well as climatic events like El Niño and La Niña. 

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.