A New US Areal No Drought Record


The graph above shows data for the entire period covered by the US Drought Monitor. This week marks the first time in the record that >90% of the US has experienced conditions of NO drought. Some further info:

  • Since 2000, the linear trend in the data indicates that the overall proportion of the US experiencing no drought conditions increased from about 50% to about 60%.
  • According to the Drought Monitor, more than 283 million people currently live in regions experiencing no drought. This is the most people in the history of the US to experience no drought conditions at once.

Climate change is real, and deserving of of aggressive policies for mitigation and adaptation. But the significance of the issue does not subtract from the importance of accurately presenting the science of extremes.

9 thoughts on “A New US Areal No Drought Record

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  1. Hello
    I want to mention an important point. According to the definition of WMO (2006) drought, in contrast to aridity, drought affects almost all climates in the world, so aridity is a nature of a region but drought is a temporary event which we can elaborate to find ways for adaptation, and mitigation strategies, through monitoring and forecasting it.
    One of the important phase for understanding drought event is “Drought Monitor”. For this aim we should use different drought indices, such as PDSI, SPI, Z-score, and etc., as you know there are different codes and packages in R and Matlab, but they are not user-friendly tools. I want to inform you three applicable tools as follows:
    MDM (Meteorological Drought Monitor), RDIT (Rain-based Drought Indices Tool), and DMAP (Drought Monitor And Prediction).
    See the bellow links to visit them:


  2. Curious,

    What made you choose a 20 year window for your analysis when records go back much further?

    What was your trendline equation?

    Can you decompose any signals for different periodicities?

    With a 20 year span, can you show any correlation between your trend and the PDO?

    It’s an interesting graph, and I know you aren’t posting a scientific paper, but it is somewhat misleading to make a post with an implication that the drought reduction is related to a changing climate.


    1. I posted the entire times available from the US Drought Monitor (link above)
      I recommend IPCC and UCNCA for a robust discussion of detection and attribution issues associated with global and US drought. Thanks


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