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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.

Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks

CPC Temperature Outlooks

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) produces temperature outlooks for the U.S., including 6–10 day, 8–14 day, monthly, and seasonal outlooks. The outlooks depict whether there is a greater chance for above-normal, below-normal, or near-normal conditions during the noted time frame. Learn more.

Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #a0c0df
40% - 50% #77b5e2
50% - 60% #389fdb
60% - 70% #005ca1
70% - 80% #2f406f
80% - 90% #221852
90% - 100% #1c1342
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #e7b168
40% - 50% #e38b4a
50% - 60% #dc562f
60% - 70% #c72e28
70% - 80% #cc3047
80% - 90% #8a2f38
90% - 100% #622228
Value Map Hex Color
Near-Normal Conditions #a2a2a2
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #a0c0df
40% - 50% #77b5e2
50% - 60% #389fdb
60% - 70% #005ca1
70% - 80% #2f406f
80% - 90% #221852
90% - 100% #1c1342
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #e7b168
40% - 50% #e38b4a
50% - 60% #dc562f
60% - 70% #c72e28
70% - 80% #cc3047
80% - 90% #8a2f38
90% - 100% #622228
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #a0c0df
40% - 50% #77b5e2
50% - 60% #389fdb
60% - 70% #005ca1
70% - 80% #2f406f
80% - 90% #221852
90% - 100% #1c1342
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Temperature
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #e7b168
40% - 50% #e38b4a
50% - 60% #dc562f
60% - 70% #c72e28
70% - 80% #cc3047
80% - 90% #8a2f38
90% - 100% #622228

CPC Precipitation Outlooks

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) produces precipitation outlooks for the U.S., including 6–10 day, 8–14 day, monthly, and seasonal outlooks. The outlooks depict whether there is a greater chance for above-normal, below-normal, or near-normal conditions during the noted time frame. Learn more.

Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #f0d493
40% - 50% #d8a750
50% - 60% #bb6d33
60% - 70% #9b5031
70% - 80% #934639
80% - 90% #804000
90% - 100% #4f2f2f
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #b3d9ab
40% - 50% #94cd7e
50% - 60% #48ae38
60% - 70% #3a7b5f
70% - 80% #008e40
80% - 90% #28553d
90% - 100% #285517
Value Map Hex Color
Near-Normal Conditions #a2a2a2
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #f0d493
40% - 50% #d8a750
50% - 60% #bb6d33
60% - 70% #9b5031
70% - 80% #934639
80% - 90% #804000
90% - 100% #4f2f2f
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #b3d9ab
40% - 50% #94cd7e
50% - 60% #48ae38
60% - 70% #3a7b5f
70% - 80% #008e40
80% - 90% #28553d
90% - 100% #285517
Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #f0d493
40% - 50% #d8a750
50% - 60% #bb6d33
60% - 70% #9b5031
70% - 80% #934639
80% - 90% #804000
90% - 100% #4f2f2f
Probability (Percent Chance) of Above-Normal Precipitation
Range Map Hex Color
33% - 40% #b3d9ab
40% - 50% #94cd7e
50% - 60% #48ae38
60% - 70% #3a7b5f
70% - 80% #008e40
80% - 90% #28553d
90% - 100% #285517

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.