What Is Snow Drought?
According to the AMS Glossary of Meteorology, snow drought occurs when there is a period of abnormally low snowpack for the time of year in question. Snow drought is described as either dry or warm, depending on whether the drought is a result of below-normal cold-season precipitation (dry) or a lack of snow accumulation despite near-normal precipitation, usually as a result of warm temperatures that cause precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow or an unusually early snowmelt (warm).
Snowpack typically acts as a natural reservoir, providing water throughout the drier summer months. Lack of snowpack storage, or a shift in timing of snowmelt from that reservoir, can be a challenge for drought planning.