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Published June 26, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor(data through 6/18/13)
Data Source(s): U.S. Department of Agriculture; National Drought Mitigation Center; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
An active late-spring weather pattern dragged several wet storms across the Pacific Northwest and far northern Rocky Mountains over the past 30 days, helping to keep drought conditions at bay in these regions. The rest of the western U.S. has not been as fortunate. Dry and warm conditions have been the norm from Wyoming southward, reinforcing drought conditions already in place. Consequently, drought conditions expanded into parts of Idaho. Severe drought also expanded across parts of northern California and southern Oregon, where precipitation deficits continued to grow. Like last month, some level of drought covers 86 percent of the western U.S., with severe or more intense drought covering more than 50 percent of the region (Figure 3).
The U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The inset (lower left) shows the western United States from the previous month’s map.
The U.S. Drought Monitor maps are based on expert assessment of variables including (but not limited to) the Palmer Drought Severity Index, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, and measures of vegetation stress, as well as reports of drought impacts. It is a joint effort of several agencies.
The best way to monitor drought trends is to pay a weekly visit to the U.S. Drought Monitor:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer