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US Drought Monitor

The National Drought Monitor is issued weekly on Thursdays, and shows areas of the country that are under drought conditions, the intensity of the drought, and whether the drought is agricultural, affecting farming and fields, or hydrological, affecting the water supply.

National Drought Monitor

Descriptions of the levels used in the weekly drought monitor

DescriptionCriteria

D0 Abnormally Dry Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures; fire risk above average. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits; pastures or crops not fully recovered.

Palmer Drought Index -1.0 to -1.9
Standard Precipitation Index -0.5 to -0.7
Percent of Normal Precip. <75% for 3 mo.
Satellite Vegetative Health Index 36-45
CPC Soil Moisture Model 21-30%
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Weekly Streamflow 21-30%

D1 Moderate Drought Moderate drought Some damage to crops, pastures; fire risk high; streams, reservoirs, or wells low; some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water use restrictions requested.

Palmer Drought Index -2.0 to -2.9
Standard Precipitation Index -0.8 to -1.2
Percent of Normal Precip <70% for 3 mo.
Satellite Vegetative Health Index 26-35
CPC Soil Moisture Model 11-20%
USGS Weekly Streamflow 11-20%

D2 Severe Drought Crop or pasture losses likely; fire risk very high; water shortages common; water restrictions imposed.

Palmer Drought Index -3.0 to -3.9
Standard Precipitation Index -1.3 to -1.5
Percent of Normal Precip <65% for 6 mo.
Satellite Vegetative Health Index 16-25
CPC Soil Moisture Model 6-10%
USGS Weekly Streamflow 6-10%

D3 Extreme Drought Major crop or pasture losses; extreme fire danger; widespread water shortages or restrictions.

Palmer Drought Index -4.0 to -5.4
Standard Precipitation Index -1.6 to -1.9
Percent of Normal Precip <60% for 6 mo.
Satellite Vegetative Health Index 6-15
CPC Soil Moisture Model 3-5%
USGS Weekly Streamflow 3-5%

D4 Exceptional Drought Exceptional and widespread crop or pasture losses; exceptional fire risk; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells, creating water emergencies.

Palmer Drought Index -5.5 or less
Standard Precipitation Index -2.0 or less
Percent of Normal Precip <60% for 12 mo.
Satellite Vegetative Health Index 1-5
CPC Soil Moisture Model 0-2%
USGS Weekly Streamflow 0-2%

Weekly National Drought Summary

FXUS25 KWNC 271230
PMDDRO
US DROUGHT MONITOR DISCUSSION
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
830 AM EST THU 27 JUN 2013
 
NATIONAL DROUGHT SUMMARY  JUNE 25, 2013 THE DISCUSSION IN THE
LOOKING AHEAD SECTION IS A DESCRIPTION OF WHAT THE OFFICIAL
NATIONAL GUIDANCE FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE /NWS/
NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTION IS DEPICTING
FOR CURRENT AREAS OF DRYNESS AND DROUGHT. THE UTILIZED NWS
FORECAST PRODUCTS INCLUDE THE WPC 5 DAY QPF AND 5 DAY MEAN
TEMPERATURE PROGS, THE 610 DAY OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE
AND PRECIPITATION PROBABILITY, AND THE 814 DAY OUTLOOKS OF
TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION PROBABILITY, VALID AS OF LATE
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON OF THE USDM RELEASE WEEK. THE NWS FORECAST
WEB PAGE USED FOR THIS SECTION IS: HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.
GOV/PRODUCTS/FORECASTS/.  THE NORTHEAST: STATUS QUO THIS WEEK,
ALTHOUGH RECENT DRYNESS IN PENNSYLVANIA WARRANTS KEEPING AN
EYE ON POSSIBLE EXPANSION IN THE COMING WEEKS IF RAINS CONTINUE
TO MISS.  MID ATLANTIC: FOLLOWING RECENT IMPROVEMENTS THE PAST
FEW WEEKS, THE MAP REMAINS UNCHANGED THIS WEEK AFTER RELATIVELY
QUIET WEATHER.  THE SOUTHEAST: THE SAME RELATIVELY QUIET WEATHER
PATTERN SETTLED IN ACROSS MOST OF THE REGION, WITH SEASONAL
RAINS AND UNSEASONABLY COOLER TEMPERATURES. DEFICITS OVER THE
PAST 60 90 DAYS CONTINUE TO ACCUMULATE ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN
ALABAMA, SOUTHWEST GEORGIA AND THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE, LEADING
TO SOME SLIGHT EXPANSION OF D0 IN THESE AREAS.  MIDWEST: THE
TRANSFORMATION TO NORMAL CONTINUES IN THE UPPER MIDWEST WITH
HEAVY RAINS /2 5+ INCHES/ BRINGING SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS
TO MINNESOTA AND NORTHWESTERN IOWA. D1 HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM
SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA AND D0 HAS BEEN REDUCED AS A RESULT,
LEAVING THE ONLY DROUGHT IN THE STATE CONFINED TO THE RED
LAKE REGION IN THE NORTHWEST. ABNORMALLY DRY /D0/ CONDITIONS
WERE ALSO REDUCED IN NORTHWESTERN IOWA ON THE HEELS OF RECENT
IMPROVEMENTS.  THE PLAINS AND LOWER MISSISSIPPI BASIN: MOST OF
THE BIGGEST CHANGES IN THE REGION THIS WEEK WERE OF THE BETTER
VARIETY, ESPECIALLY IN SOUTH DAKOTA, WHERE GENEROUS WIDESPREAD
RAINS LED TO 1 CATEGORY IMPROVEMENTS AND A PUSH WESTWARD OF
D0/D1 ACROSS THE MISSOURI RIVER. ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF D0
REMAINS BETWEEN NORTH CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA AND SOUTH CENTRAL
NORTH DAKOTA BECAUSE OF LONGER TERM DEFICITS. THE WESTERN
HALF OF THE STATE STILL HAS PLENTY OF DROUGHT TO OVERCOME
MOVING FORWARD INTO SUMMER, SO ALL IS NOT CLEAR. FARTHER
SOUTH, FAVORABLE RAINS OF LATE MEAN MORE IMPROVEMENT IS
NOTED IN EXTREME NORTHEASTERN KANSAS WITH A TRIMMING OF D0
THERE. SPOTTY NORMAL RAINS RESULT IN STATUS QUO FOR NEBRASKA
THIS WEEK.  IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, OKLAHOMA DRIED OUT A BIT
THIS WEEK AND THE RAINS THAT DID FALL WERE NOT ENOUGH TO WARRANT
IMPROVEMENT IN THE PANHANDLE. WITH THE INCREASING TEMPERATURES,
D4 NUDGES SLIGHTLY NORTH IN WESTERN OKLAHOMA. TEXAS SEES A
SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK OF SEVERAL CHANGES, MOSTLY FOR THE
WORSE AS THINGS CONTINUE TO WARM UP /4 8F ABOVE NORMAL/ AND
DRY OUT SAVE FOR SPOTTY CONVECTIVE THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY,
WHICH CONTINUES TO BRING SOME RELIEF TO SOME. AS A RESULT,
SOUTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS SEE AN EXPANSION OF DROUGHT THIS
WEEK WHILE EXTREME NORTHEASTERN TEXAS SEES A REDUCTION OF D0/D1
ALONG WITH NORTHWESTERN LOUISIANA AND SOUTHWESTERN ARKANSAS THIS
WEEK. THE TEXAS PANHANDLE SEES SOME SHIFTING AROUND OF D3/D4,
WITH MOST CASES REFLECTING RELATIVE IMPROVEMENT GIVEN THE
RECENT RAINS. WESTERN TEXAS SEES SOME SLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS TO
THEIR DROUGHT SITUATION THIS WEEK AS WELL.  THE WEST: CHANGES
APLENTY THIS WEEK AS SPRING GIVES WAY TO SUMMER AND SUMMER
HEAT IS MAKING ITS PRESENCE FELT WITH FIRES /OR THE THREAT OF/
CONTINUING TO STEAL THE IMPACTS SPOTLIGHT FOR MANY. NEW MEXICO
CONTINUES TO FORGE INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY, WITH DATA FROM
NOAA NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER /RECORDS GOING BACK TO
1895/ SHOWING THE PAST 12 MONTHS TO BE THE DRIEST ON RECORD
FOR THE STATE COUPLED WITH THE PAST 24 AND 36 MONTHS COMING
IN AS THE SECOND DRIEST ON RECORD. VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE STATE
FALLS WITHIN THE TWO WORST CATEGORIES ON OUR DROUGHT SEVERITY
SCALE, D3 AND D4. ALL EYES WILL BE SQUARELY AFFIXED ON THE
UPCOMING MONSOON SEASON.  WYOMING SEES IMPROVEMENTS IN THE
NORTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE STATE AND DEGRADATION IN THE SOUTH,
WITH THE TRIMMING OF D0/D1 IN THE NORTHEAST AND EXPANSION OF
D2/D3 IN THE SOUTH IN PROXIMITY TO THE COLORADO AND NEBRASKA
BORDERS.  COLORADOS SITUATION CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE UNDER
THE INFLUENCE OF SUMMERS HEAT, NOTED BY EXPANSION OF D2 IN
THE NORTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE STATE AS WELL AS A SLIGHT PUSH
NORTH AND WEST OF D3 IN THE SOUTHEASTERN CORNER. FIRE STILL
REMAINS FRONT AND CENTER WITH REGARD TO IMPACTS, BUT RANGELAND
CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO TAKE A BEATING ALL ALONG THE FRONT RANGE.
ARIZONA AND NEVADA BOTH SEE INCREASES IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS
THIS WEEK. IN NEVADA, D2 PUSHES FARTHER EAST TOWARD THE
UTAH BORDER WHILE IN ARIZONA BOTH D2 AND D3 EXPAND SLIGHTLY
IN THE NORTH CENTRAL REGION AND WITHIN THE NAVAJO NATION.
FOR A SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK, CALIFORNIA SEES A PUSH OF D2
ACROSS ALL OF THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY AND POINTS EASTWARD INTO
MORE OF BOTH THE CASCADES AND THE SIERRA NEVADA. RECENT RAINS
IN AND ALONG THE NORTHWESTERN COASTAL RANGES HAVE NOT BEEN
NEARLY ENOUGH TO OFFSET THE RECORD TO NEAR RECORD YEAR TO DATE
DEFICITS THAT HAVE LED TO REDUCED STREAMFLOWS IN MANY BASINS.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST: MUCH COOLER TEMPERATURES /4 TO 8F/ AND
BENEFICIAL RAINS BRING SOME SLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS TO PARTS OF
WESTERN OREGON AND THE CASCADES, NOTED BY SOME TRIMMING OF THE
D0 THERE AND IN NORTHERN PART OF THE STATE. D0 AND D1 WERE ALSO
TRIMMED IN THE BLUE AND WALLOWA RANGES, WHICH ALSO SAW GOOD
RAINS THIS PAST WEEK. THE IMPROVEMENTS SPILLED OVER THE BORDER
INTO SOUTHEASTERN AND EASTERN WASHINGTON WITH TRIMMING OF THE
D0 AND D1. IDAHO ALSO SHARED IN THE COOLER, WETTER WEATHER,
PARTICULARLY IN THE PANHANDLE WHERE D0 AND D1 WERE REDUCED, AND
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN MONTANA ALSO SAW SOME MINOR REDUCTION OF
D0.  HAWAII, ALASKA, AND PUERTO RICO: FOR A SECOND CONSECUTIVE
WEEK, THE BIG ISLANDS NORTHWESTERN SHORES SEE DEGRADATION IN
THE FORM OF D3 WITHIN THE NORTH KOHALA DISTRICT, WHERE D2 WAS
INTRODUCED JUST LAST WEEK. IMPACTS ARE RAMPING UP WITH REGARD TO
VEGETATION STRESS IN THE AREA, PARTICULARLY PASTURE CONDITIONS.
ALASKA SEES EXPANSION OF D0 AND D1 ON THIS WEEKS MAP AS ALL
TIME RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES /90F AND HIGHER WAS COMMONPLACE/,
COUPLED WITH THE RECENT DRYNESS AND LOW HUMIDITY LEVELS, ARE
STARTING TO TAKE THEIR TOLL, MARKED BY REDUCED STREAMFLOWS AND
RED FLAG FIRE WARNINGS ACROSS MOST OF THE STATES INTERIOR. IN
FACT, NORTH POLE, ALASKA /A FAIRBANKS BOROUGH/, HAS ISSUED A
FIREWORKS BAN BECAUSE OF THE HEIGHTENED CONCERNS.  PUERTO RICO
REMAINS DROUGHT FREE THIS WEEK.  LOOKING AHEAD: THE NWS WPC 5
DAY /JUNE 26  JULY 1/ QUANTITATIVE PRECIPITATION FORECAST /QPF/
SHOWS THE BEST CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
RIVER, WITH THE HEAVIEST RAINS POSSIBLE IN THE OHIO VALLEY
AND NORTHEAST AS WELL AS THE GULF COAST AND ATLANTIC COAST,
WHERE 2 3 INCHES OR MORE COULD FALL. WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
PROSPECTS LOOK MUCH BLEAKER WITH ONLY MODEST RAINS BEING
FORECASTED. TEMPERATURES OVER THIS SAME PERIOD LOOK TO BE
SEASONABLE OR EVEN BELOW NORMAL OVER THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE
COUNTRY IN COMBINATION WITH THE FORECASTED RAINS. THE SAME CANT
BE SAID FOR THE WEST, WHERE TEMPERATURES WILL BUILD IN CONCERT
WITH THE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGING THERE, BRINGING THE PROSPECTS
OF WELL ABOVE NORMAL READINGS /IN THE 6 13 DEGREE RANGE/ IN
CALIFORNIA, THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST, THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND
THE NORTHERN ROCKIES.  THE 6 10 DAY /JULY 2 6/ OUTLOOKS ARE
SHOWING THAT TEMPERATURES ARE LIKELY TO STAY ABOVE NORMAL IN
THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST AND PACIFIC NORTHWEST, INCLUDING ALL
OF CALIFORNIA. ALASKA WILL ALSO STAY UNDER THE HIGH PRESSURE
INFLUENCE ALONG WITH THE RESULTANT ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES
THAT ACCOMPANY IT. THE NORTHEAST APPEARS MORE LIKELY TO BE ABOVE
NORMAL ON THE TEMPERATURE SIDE TOO. THE CENTRAL U.S. LOOKS
TO BE COOLER THAN NORMAL FROM THE FRONT RANGE TO THE OHIO
VALLEY. AS FOR PRECIPITATION, THE SOUTHEAST AND NORTHEAST
LOOK TO BE WETTER THAN NORMAL, AS DO PARTS OF SOUTHERN NEVADA,
NORTHERN ARIZONA AND CENTRAL NEW MEXICO IN WHAT MAY SIGNAL A
START TO THE MONSOON. BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED
IN NORTHERN REACHES OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST /WASHINGTON OVER
TO MONTANA/ AND OVER INTO THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND UPPER MIDWEST.
AUTHOR: MARK SVOBODA, NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER
DRYNESS CATEGORIES D0 ... ABNORMALLY DRY ... USED FOR AREAS
SHOWING DRYNESS BUT NOT YET IN DROUGHT OR FOR AREAS RECOVERING
FROM DROUGHT.
DROUGHT INTENSITY CATEGORIES D1 ... MODERATE DROUGHT D2
... SEVERE DROUGHT D3 ... EXTREME DROUGHT D4 ... EXCEPTIONAL
DROUGHT
DROUGHT OR DRYNESS TYPES S ... SHORT TERM L ... LONG TERM 
UPDATED JUNE 25, 2013
 
 
 
DROUGHT INTENSITY CATEGORIES...
D0 ABNORMALLY DRY...
D1 MODERATE DROUGHT...
D2 SEVERE DROUGHT...
D3 EXTREME DROUGHT...
D4 EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT
 
DROUGHT TYPES...
USED ONLY WHEN IMPACTS DIFFER...
S SHORT TERM...
L LONG TERM.
 
 
$$