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Temperature & Precipitation

Air temperature and precipitation can have wide-ranging effects on natural processes, and their datasets are foundational for drought and climate analysis. Changes in temperature and precipitation can substantially disrupt crops and livestock, influence the frequency and intensity of severe weather events, and affect the quality and quantity of water available for municipal and industrial use. 

Temperature and Precipitation Measurements

Temperature and precipitation data are collected from weather stations, weather radar, satellites, and computer models.

A thermometer showing high heat.

Warmer air temperatures increase evapotranspiration—which is the combination of evaporation from the soil and bodies of water and transpiration from plants—and lower soil moisture.

A full rain gauge.

Drought is defined as the lack of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually for a season or more, that results in a water shortage.

Data, Maps, and Tools

To make data easier to use, many organizations derive products from raw data. These derived products may start with station data, which estimate (or interpolate) the information between stations using different methodologies. Radar- and satellite-based products may include station data as “ground truth” to remove bias and create more accurate products.

Recent Temperature and Precipitation Conditions

Temperature Conditions

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

Precipitation Conditions

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

Related Content

Research & Learn | Flash Drought

Flash drought intensifies rapidly due to changes in precipitation, temperature, wind, and radiation. Find more information about flash drought on this Research & Learn page.

Research & Learn | Monitoring Drought

Drought monitoring at the national, regional, and local levels is an integral part of drought early warning, planning, and mitigation. Learn more about drought monitoring here.