Climate Conditions: Drought Status on May 14, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
This map shows drought status across the contiguous United States on May 14, 2013. Colors on the map indicate areas that are abnormally dry (light yellow) or experiencing some level of drought. For areas in drought, the darker the color, the more severe the drought. Approximately 48 percent of the contiguous United States was in some level of drought on this date according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. An additional 14 percent was classified as abnormally dry.
Drought is not just a long period without rain: an area is considered to be in drought whenever the environment has less moisture than usual for months or more at a time. To produce weekly drought maps, experts consider what’s normal and then consult recent observations of parameters such as rain, snow, temperature, soil moisture, and streamflow. They also consider reports of drought impacts such as decreased availability of water or stressed conditions for crops, livestock, and wildlife. A group of climatologists, extension agents, and other experts across the nation review each map before it is released to the public.
Caption adapted from DROUGHT: The Weekly Drill behind the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Data source: U.S. Drought Monitor