Issued 14 July 2022
Please note that the values presented in this report are based on preliminary data. They will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages.
National Drought Highlights
- Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 34% of the contiguous United States as of the end of June 2022, about the same as last month. About 3% of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
- About 45% of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of June.
- On a broad scale, the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by unusual wetness with short periods of extensive droughts, the 1930s and 1950s were characterized by prolonged periods of extensive droughts with little wetness, and the first two decades of the 2000s saw extensive drought and extensive wetness (moderate to extreme drought graphic, severe to extreme drought graphic).
- A file containing the national monthly percent area severely dry and wet from 1900 to present is available for the severe to extreme and moderate to extreme categories.
- Historical temperature, precipitation, and Palmer drought data from 1895 to present for climate divisions, states, and regions in the contiguous U.S. are available at the Climate Division: Temperature-Precipitation-Drought Data page. These filenames begin with "climdiv".
- According to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), as of June 28, 2022, 47.73% of the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) (42.53% of the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) was classified as experiencing moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought.
Detailed Drought Overview
The upper-level circulation during June 2022 was very active with several shortwave troughs and closed lows moving through a strong westerly jet stream flow. The jet stream was sandwiched between two high pressure systems — a subtropical high that dominated the southern states, and a high pressure ridge that dominated Alaska and western Canada. Warmer-than-normal monthly temperatures were associated with the high pressure systems, especially in states across the southern tier, Great Plains, and Midwest, and in southern Alaska. The subtropical high frequently buckled the jet stream, with southerly surface flow associated with upper-level ridges spreading 90- and occasionally 100-degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures from the southern states into the central and northern Plains and Midwest. The subtropical high and upper-level ridges inhibited precipitation, resulting in much of the CONUS and Alaska having a drier-than-normal month. An active Southwest Monsoon spread above-normal rain across the Four Corners states, and jet stream-driven Pacific fronts and surface lows gave the Pacific Northwest and northern California a wetter-than-normal month. Some of the fronts reached the southern states. The fronts, and tropical systems like Tropical Storms Alex and Colin, brought pockets of above-normal precipitation to areas east of the Rockies. But, for the month, drier-than-normal weather dominated the Great Basin and most areas east of the Rockies.
The above-normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and pockets in the Plains contracted or reduced the intensity of drought or abnormal dryness in those areas, and contraction occurred as well on the Big Island in Hawaii. But hot and dry weather expanded or intensified drought or abnormal dryness in the Great Basin, southern and eastern Texas, from the Mississippi Valley to East Coast, across Puerto Rico, in much of Alaska, and across other parts of Hawaii. Drought contraction exceeded expansion for the CONUS, with the USDM-based national moderate-to-exceptional drought footprint across the CONUS decreasing from 49.3 percent at the end of May to 47.7 percent at the end of June. Expansion exceeded contraction for the 50 states and Puerto Rico, with the total moderate-to-exceptional drought footprint increasing from 41.4 percent at the end of May to 42.5 percent at the end of June. According to USDM statistics, 40 percent or more of the CONUS has been in moderate drought or worse for the last 93 weeks. This is a record in the 22-year USDM history. The previous record was 68 consecutive weeks (June 19, 2012 to October 1, 2013).
According to the Palmer Drought Index, which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, about 44.8 percent of the CONUS was in moderate to extreme drought at the end of June, which is more than the end of May. The percent area of the CONUS in moderate to extreme drought has hovered between roughly 35 and 53 percent for the last 22 months (since September 2020).
Numerous reports of drought impacts were received during June by the National Drought Mitigation Center, and new drought declarations have been made in the counties of several states. The impacts of the drought can be seen in several drought indicators, especially in the West, Plains, and Atlantic Coast, and now filling in between the Mississippi River and East Coast. These include:
- dry soils (VIC, CPC [anomaly, percentile], NLDAS, and Leaky Bucket models; and GRACE surface and root zone, crop CASMA topsoil and subsoil anomaly, crop CASMA topsoil and subsoil categorical, SPoRT surface and deeper [1, 2, 3] layers, and USDA [soil moisture conditions and comparison to 5-year and 10-year means] observations);
- low ground water (GRACE, USGS) and springwater levels;
- some low streamflow levels (USGS station and huc maps);
- high evapotranspiration (ESI) (1-, 2-, and 3-month EDDI);
- poor vegetation (VegDRI, VCI, NESDIS satellite-based VHI, stressed vegetation, and drought risk); and
- the Quick Drought Response Index (QuickDRI).
- Many reservoir levels were low and falling in western Texas and much of the West (California; Washington; Oregon map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Idaho map 1, 2, 3; Southwest map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; westwide station percentile and station and basin percent of average map), with many at or near record low levels. Reservoir levels were higher in parts of the Pacific Northwest. The elevation of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, neared the dead pool (the elevation that prevents the water from flowing downstream from the dam) in late June. On June 30, the lake elevation was 1,043.02 feet above sea level — the lowest elevation since the 1930s when the lake was first filled.
- Large wildfires burned throughout the month in the Southwest, and developed at times in parts of the East, Far West, and southern Plains (wildfire maps for June 1, 6, 12, 16, 18, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30). As of June 30, over 33,000 fires had burned nearly 3.8 million acres nationwide; the number of fires is about 7,000 more than the ten-year average for this time of year, and the acreage burned is more than twice the ten-year average.
Drought conditions at the end of June, as depicted on the June 28, 2022 USDM map, included the following core drought and abnormally dry areas:
- Moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought extended from the West Coast to Rocky Mountains and into the adjacent Great Plains, with large areas of extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought. June precipitation was above normal across much of the Pacific Northwest and Four Corners states, but below normal in between, with some areas experiencing a record dry June (low-elevation precipitation anomaly map for June; high-elevation SNOTEL station and basin precipitation anomaly maps for June; high-elevation SNOTEL station precipitation percentile map for June). In spite of the precipitation that fell in June as well as in May, much of the West continued to be drier than normal at longer time scales (low-elevation precipitation anomaly maps for last 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months; high-elevation SNOTEL station and basin precipitation anomaly maps for last 6, 9, 12, 36 months; high-elevation SNOTEL station precipitation percentile maps for last 6, 9, 12, 36 months). Westwide, June 2022 ranked as the 110th driest (19th wettest) June (tied with June 1943) in the 128-year record, but January-June 2022 ranked as the tenth driest January-June. July 2021-June 2022 ranked as the 51st driest such 12-month period, but when July 2021-June 2022 is combined with July 2020-June 2021, July 2020-June 2022 ranked as the third driest such 24-month period, behind July 2019-June 2021 (driest) and July 1975-June 1977 (second driest). The 36-month period, July 2019-June 2022, ranked as the second driest such 3-year period, behind July 1928-June 1931. The percent area of the Western U.S. experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, according to USDM statistics, decreased from 86.8 percent at the end of May to 75.9 percent at the end of June. The percent area of the West (from the Rockies to the West Coast) in moderate to extreme drought (based on the Palmer Drought Index) fell for a third consecutive month, dropping to 67.1 percent at the end of June 2022.
- Moderate to exceptional drought continued in the Great Plains, especially in the southern portions, with drought contraction occurring in many areas while expansion or intensification occurred in fewer areas. In the central to northern Plains, the moderate to exceptional drought area decreased from 65.5 percent at the end of May to 53.2 percent at the end of June. In the southern Plains, the moderate to exceptional drought area increased from 73.8 percent at the end of May to 75.9 percent at the end of June due to drought expansion in eastern Texas. In the Lower Mississippi Valley, moderate to extreme drought grew from 20.3 percent at the end of May to 25.3 percent at the end of June. Taken together, the southern Plains, Lower Mississippi Valley, and Tennessee (South Region) saw moderate to exceptional drought expand from 49.3 percent at the end of May to 54.9 percent at the end of June.
- Moderate to severe drought lingered, and extreme drought developed, in western Iowa, with areas of moderate drought developing in the Ohio Valley. The drought area in the Midwest expanded — from 0.8 percent at the end of May to 7.1 percent at the end of June.
- In the Northeast, moderate drought expanded in southern and coastal New England, with the regional drought area increasing from 2.7 percent at the end of May to 7.5 percent at the end of June.
- In the Southeast, the moderate to severe drought area more than doubled from 10.3 percent at the end of May to 25.6 percent at the end of June.
- In Hawaii, drought expanded on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, and Maui, but contracted on the Big Island. The net result for the state as a whole was the total drought area contracted from 40.4 percent at the end of May to 34.7 percent at the end of June.
- In the Caribbean, moderate drought expanded and severe drought developed on Puerto Rico, with the island's drought area exploding from 17.9 percent at the end of May to 68.0 percent at the end of June. In the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), extreme drought developed on St. John, severe drought developed on St. Thomas, and extreme drought continued on St. Croix.
In the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI), compared to last month:
- drought ended at Wotje but abnormal dryness developed on Majuro in the Marshall Islands;
- moderate drought intensified to severe drought at Kapingamarangi (Federated States of Micronesia); and
- abnormal dryness ended in the Marianas.
Palmer Drought Index
The Palmer drought indices measure the balance between moisture demand (evapotranspiration driven by temperature) and moisture supply (precipitation). The Palmer Z Index depicts moisture conditions for the current month, while the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) depict the current month's cumulative moisture conditions integrated over the last several months.
While both the PDSI and PHDI indices show long-term moisture conditions, the PDSI depicts meteorological drought while the PHDI depicts hydrological drought. The PDSI map may show less severe and extensive drought (as well as wet spell conditions) in some parts of the country than the PHDI map because the meteorological conditions that produce drought and wet spell conditions are not as long-lasting as the hydrological impacts.
Used together, the Palmer Z Index and PHDI maps show that short-term drought occurred across southern California to the Great Basin, western portions of the central Plains, across much of Texas, and in the Southeast, expanding or intensifying long-term drought (PHDI maps for June compared to May). Short-term drought also occurred in the Upper Mississippi Valley, from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to Great Lakes, and in parts of the Northeast, shrinking long-term wet conditions. Short-term wet conditions occurred over much of the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Southwest, reducing the intensity of long-term drought.
Standardized Precipitation Index
The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) measures moisture supply. The SPI maps here show the spatial extent of anomalously wet and dry areas at time scales ranging from 1 month to 24 months.
The SPI maps illustrate how moisture conditions have varied considerably through time and space over the last two years. Dryness covered the Midwest (from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to Great Lakes) at the 1-month time scale, and parts of the Midwest at 2 and 3 months. Parts of the Northeast were dry at 1 to 9 months. Much of the Southeast was dry at the 1-month time scale, and coastal parts were dry at the 2- to 12-month time scales. Parts of the central Plains were dry at all time scales. Parts of the northern Plains were dry at the 1- and 24-month time scales. Western parts of the central to southern Plains, and most of Texas, were dry at all time scales. In the Pacific Northwest, dryness was extensive at 24 months and parts were dry at 6 months. In the Four Corners states, wet conditions were widespread at 1 month; wet conditions covered some areas and dryness covered other areas at 2 to 3 months; dry conditions became more widespread at 6 to 9 months; and dry conditions covered these states at 24 months. Parts of California were dry at 2 and 3 months, with all of California dry at 6-24 months — the most extreme dryness occurred at 6 and 24 months. Parts of Montana were wet at 1 to 3 months, with dry conditions at 6-24 months, becoming more widespread the farther back in time. An interesting pattern continues at the 24-month time scale — very dry conditions dominate across the West to western portions of the Plains, while very wet conditions dominate the Lower Mississippi Valley to Great Lakes and eastward.
Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index
The SPI measures water supply (precipitation), while the SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index) measures the combination of water supply (precipitation) and water demand (evapotranspiration as computed from temperature). Warmer temperatures tend to increase evapotranspiration, which generally makes droughts more intense.
For the Northern Hemisphere, June marks the beginning of climatological summer, which is the season when evapotranspiration is maximum. During June 2022, temperatures were much above normal in the southern tier states, especially in Texas and parts of California, and along the Gulf of Mexico coast. The southern Plains were warmer than normal for the last 2 to 3 months, while northern parts of the West were cooler than normal. At the 6-month time scale, temperatures were much warmer than normal in California and Arizona, in parts of Texas, and in the Southeast. This temperature anomaly pattern resulted in more severe SPEI values than SPI values in parts of Texas and California for June (SPEI map vs. SPI map) and in Texas for May-June (SPEI map vs. SPI map) and April-June (SPEI map vs. SPI map). For January-June, the West (especially from California to the Great Basin) was extremely dry to record dry. The January-June SPEI was record dry for California, but so was the SPI. Nevada's January-June temperature anomalies were not as extreme, so Nevada's January-June SPI was record dry but the SPEI was not. Temperatures in Texas for the last 9 months were unusually warm. This resulted in a more extreme October-June SPEI than SPI in Texas.
Much of the West was extremely warm during 2021 and earlier years. This increased evapotranspiration and resulted in more extreme SPEI values than SPI values at the 1- to 6-year time scales (SPEI maps for last 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 months) (SPI maps for last 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 months).
June 2022 was drier than normal across western parts of the Hawaiian Islands (Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai) and had a mixed precipitation anomaly pattern over eastern parts (Maui, Lanai, and the Big Island). This was the pattern at the 2- to 4-month time scales. At 6 months, drier-than-normal conditions dominated most of the state. The anomaly pattern was mixed at 9-36 months except mostly drier-than-normal on Molokai and Maui. Wetter-than-normal conditions dominated at longer time scales (last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months) (climate engine model percent of normal precipitation map for the last month). Monthly streamflow was mostly below normal on the western islands and near normal on the eastern islands. Vegetation was stressed on parts of all of the main islands, but especially on Molokai, Maui, and Oahu (satellite analyses of stressed vegetation, drought risk, VHI). Drought or abnormal dryness contracted on the Big Island but expanded on the other islands. The overall drought footprint shrank from 40.4 percent last month to 34.7 percent on the June 28th USDM map.
Widespread drier-than-normal conditions dominated Alaska during June, May-June, and April-June 2022, with March-June drier than normal in most areas except the southeast and panhandle where a mixed precipitation anomaly pattern was evident. The dryness was especially severe in the southwest and south coastal areas, with record dryness occurring in the Central Interior, Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet, and Northwest Gulf climate divisions. Anchorage had the driest April-June in the 1952-2022 record, and, statewide, Alaska had the driest June and April-June in the state's 1925-2022 record. At the 6-month time scale, southeast and panhandle areas were wetter than normal, south coastal areas had a mixed precipitation anomaly pattern, and the rest of the state was generally drier than normal. The wetter-than-normal areas spread further inland at 9 months, with drier-than-normal areas limited to the Aleutians and parts of the south coastal and northern portions of the state by 12 months. An area centered around Cook Inlet, the Northwest Gulf and Northeast Gulf climate divisions, the far Aleutian Islands, and part of the North Slope, were drier than normal at 24 to 36 months, and some stations along the southern coast were still drier than normal at longer time scales (low elevation station precipitation anomaly maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months) (high elevation SNOTEL station precipitation percentile map for the last 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months) (high elevation SNOTEL station precipitation anomaly maps for June 2022 and October 2021-June 2022) (SNOTEL basin precipitation anomaly map for October 2021-June 2022) (SNOTEL basin and station precipitation anomaly maps for the last 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months) (climate division precipitation rank maps for the last 1, 3, 6, and 12 months) (climate engine model percent of normal precipitation map for the last month) (modeled percent of normal maps from ACCAP for the last 1 and 3 months) (station percent of normal map for June from ACCAP) (Leaky Bucket model precipitation percentile map).
June temperatures were warmer than normal across most of the state — especially in the southern half — with near- to cooler-than-normal conditions in parts of the north. The middle interior was cooler than normal at 2 to 3 months, with the cooler anomalies expanding north and south, contracting the warmer anomalies to mostly along the Aleutians, Cook Inlet, and southwest to Northwest Gulf coast by 3 months. This pattern mostly held at the 4- to 6-month time scales, with the panhandle eventually becoming warmer than normal. Cooler-than-normal conditions dominated the state at the 9- and 12-month time periods (low elevation station temperature anomaly maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12 months) (climate division temperature rank maps for the last 1, 3, 6, and 12 months) (gridded temperature percentile maps for the last 1, 3, and 6 months) (Leaky Bucket model temperature percentile map).
End-of-June observations of snowpack and snow water equivalent (SWE) indicated that the snowpack had mostly melted except in the highest elevations (satellite-based estimates of SWE and snow depth; SNOTEL station snowpack amount). Modeled soil moisture and experimental satellite-based observations of soil moisture (GRACE root zone and surface soil moisture; SPoRT relative percent of soil moisture for 0-10 cm [0-4 inches] depth, 10-40 cm [4-16 inches] depth, 40-100 cm [16-39 inches] depth, 100-200 cm [39-79 inches] depth) and groundwater showed widespread drier-than-normal conditions in the surface soil layers, with drier soils at deeper layers more localized in the south and northeast. Satellite observations of vegetative health (stressed vegetation, VHI, drought-related stress, green vegetation fraction) showed stressed vegetation in many parts of the state. By the middle of the month, numerous large wildfires had spread from the southwest to northeast across the state (wildfire maps for June 6, 12, 16, 18, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30). According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, since the beginning of the year, more than 1.5 million acres had burned in the state by June 29. Monthly streamflow was mostly near to above normal with some below-normal streams in the north.
Abnormal dryness and areas of moderate drought expanded to the northeast with an area of severe drought introduced in the Cook Inlet region, as seen on the June 28th USDM map. At the end of May, moderate drought covered about 1 percent of Alaska and abnormal dryness about 16 percent. By the end of June, moderate to severe drought had expanded to 15.6 percent of the state and abnormal dryness to severe drought covered 46.2 percent.
Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
June 2022 was drier than normal across the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and all but southwestern parts of Puerto Rico (PR). Dry conditions extended across most of the region at the 2- to 4-month time scales. A wet February resulted in above-normal precipitation across some parts of PR at the 6- to 9-month time scales, but drier-than-normal conditions persisted across most areas. The USVI and much of PR were drier than normal at longer time scales (radar-based precipitation anomaly estimates for the last 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12 months) (low elevation station precipitation maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months) (climate engine model percent of normal precipitation map for the last month: PR and USVI, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico region).
Root zone analyses indicated that soil conditions were dry along the southern and northern coasts and the eastern half of PR and across the USVI (root zone soil saturation fraction; relative soil moisture at 0-10 cm [0-4 in], 10-40 cm [4-16 in], 40-100 cm [16-39 in], 100-200 cm [39-79 in] depth). Satellite analyses show areas of vegetative stress (VHI for PR and USVI, drought risk for PR and USVI, stressed vegetation for PR and USVI). Monthly streamflow was below normal at many locations in eastern, southern, and northern PR, with some record low gauges. In the USVI, groundwater during June continued to decline on St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, although it appeared to level off near the end of the month on St. Thomas. The groundwater level on St. Croix in June 2022 reached a new record low value compared to the 2016-2022 record. The June values at St. John and St. Thomas were very low but had not reached record low values based on the 2016-2022 period, although the St. John value was the lowest since November 2016 and the St. Thomas value was the lowest since November 2017. Drought intensified and expanded on PR. Moderate drought covered 17.9 percent of PR at the end of May, with moderate to severe drought covering 68.0 percent of the island at the end of June, and abnormal dryness to severe drought covered 91.7 percent of PR. The 68.0 percent value was a record drought extent in the 2000-2022 record for PR. Also, as of July 5, PR has been in drought for a record 81 consecutive weeks. In the USVI, at the end of June, moderate drought worsened to extreme drought on St. John and severe drought on St. Thomas, while extreme drought continued on St. Croix.
CONUS State Precipitation Ranks
June 2022 was drier than normal across parts of the West and much of the CONUS east of the Rockies. Record-dry conditions occurred locally in a few parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Southeast. Half (25) of the states had a precipitation rank in the driest third of the 128-year historical record for June, including three in the top ten driest category — North Carolina (second driest), Nebraska (seventh driest), and Kentucky (tenth driest).
April-June 2022 was drier than normal across a large part of the West (especially the Southwest and Montana), the central and southern Plains, the Midwest, and parts of the East. Record-dry conditions occurred locally in parts of the West. Fourteen states had a precipitation rank in the driest third of the 128-year historical record for April-June, including one in the top ten driest category — Texas (sixth driest).
January-June 2022 was drier than normal across most of the West and Great Plains and parts of the Midwest and East Coast. Record-dry conditions occurred across much of California and Nevada and locally in parts of the Plains. Seventeen states had a precipitation rank in the driest third of the 128-year historical record for January-June, including six in the top ten driest category — California (driest on record), Nevada (second driest), Utah (third driest), Texas (sixth driest), Nebraska (seventh driest), and Arizona (ninth driest).
July 2021-June 2022 was drier than normal across much of the West and central to southern Great Plains and parts of the Mississippi Valley, Mid-Atlantic Coast, and northern New England. Record-dry conditions occurred locally in northwest Kansas. Eleven states had a precipitation rank in the driest third of the 127-year historical record for July-June. None were in the top ten driest category, but Texas ranked 13th driest.
During June 2022, the Primary Corn and Soybean agricultural belt was mostly warmer and drier than normal. The month ranked as the tenth driest and 26th warmest June, regionwide, in the 1895-2022 record.
March marks the beginning of the growing season for the Primary Corn and Soybean belt. March-June 2022 was mostly drier than normal with cooler than normal temperatures in the north and warmer than normal temperatures in the south. The period ranked as the 36th warmest and 62nd driest March-June, regionwide, on record.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as of June 28, 2022, drought affected approximately 78 percent of sorghum production, 61 percent of cotton production, 56 percent of barley production, 56 percent of the sheep inventory, 50 percent of the cattle inventory, 46 percent of winter wheat production, 42 percent of the milk cow inventory, 38 percent of rice production, 35 percent of hay acreage, 23 percent of corn production, 19 percent of spring wheat production, and 15 percent of soybean production. Based on June 26 USDA statistics, 8 percent of the corn, soybean, and spring wheat crops, 43 percent of the nation's winter wheat crop, and 43 percent of the nation's pasture and rangeland were in poor to very poor condition, and 43 percent of the nation's topsoil and 41 percent of the subsoil were short or very short of moisture (dry or very dry). The table below lists those states having 30 percent or more of topsoil or subsoil moisture short or very short, or 30 percent or more of the pasture and rangeland or corn, soybean, spring wheat, or winter wheat in poor or very poor condition:
U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands
The NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) offices, the Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center (PEAC), and partners provided reports on conditions across the Pacific Islands.
In the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) (maps — Federated States of Micronesia [FSM], Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands [RMI], Republic of Palau, American Samoa, basinwide), June 2022 was drier-than-normal in Palau, the southern Marianas, the southern and western FSM, and southern Marshalls. It was near to wetter than normal in parts of the Marianas and Marshalls, in eastern FSM, and in American Samoa.
Monthly precipitation amounts were below the monthly minimum needed to meet most water needs (4 inches in the Marianas and Pago Pago, and 8 inches elsewhere) in American Samoa and parts of the Marianas, FSM, and Marshalls. June precipitation was above the monthly minimums at the rest of the stations across the USAPI. The 4- and 8-inch thresholds are important because, if monthly precipitation falls below the threshold, then water shortages or drought become a concern.
The tropical Pacific climatology can experience extremes in precipitation, from very low precipitation during the dry season to very high precipitation during the wet season. This can result in monthly normal precipitation values that are different from the monthly minimum needed to meet most water needs, and this can lead to percent of normal values that seem odd. This was the case during June 2022, which is transitioning from the dry season to wet season for most locations in northern and eastern Micronesia. Precipitation was below the monthly minimum but above normal (1981-2010 normal), because the normals are low, at:
- Saipan: June 2022 precipitation 3.84 inches, June normal mean 4.50 inches, June normal median 3.62 inches
In western and southern parts of Micronesia, this is the wet season, so the normal monthly precipitation is above the monthly minimum. Precipitation was above the monthly minimum but below normal at:
- Airai: June 2022 precipitation 14.19 inches, June normal mean 18.01 inches, June normal median 17.48 inches
- Guam: June 2022 precipitation 4.88 inches, June normal mean 7.09 inches, June normal median 6.18 inches
- Mili: June 2022 precipitation 9.47 inches, June normal mean 10.14 inches
- Pingelap: June 2022 precipitation 8.66 inches, June normal mean 12.96 inches
- Woleai: June 2022 precipitation 11.43 inches, June normal mean 12.48 inches
- Yap: June 2022 precipitation 10.04 inches, June normal mean 13.20 inches, June normal median 12.04 inches
In the table below, the station identified as Koror is Palau International Airport (Airai).
As measured by percent of normal precipitation, Kapingamarangi and Lukunor were drier than normal in the short term (June and the last 3 months [April-June 2022]) and long term (year to date [January-June 2022] and last 12 months [July 2021-June 2022]). Guam was drier than normal in the short-term and near to below normal in the long-term. Pago Pago was near to wetter than normal for June but drier than normal for the other 3 time periods. Airai, Chuuk, Majuro, and Yap were drier than normal for June but near to wetter than normal for the other 3 time periods. Kosrae, Kwajalein, Pohnpei, and Saipan were near to wetter than normal in the short-term and long-term.
Based on percent of normal average (instead of normal median values), in the Marianas Islands, precipitation during June and May-June was below normal on Guam and Saipan but above normal on Rota. Wetter-than-normal conditions dominated at the 3- to 6-month time scales except over Guam, and at the 9- to 9-month time scales across the main islands. A mixed anomaly pattern was evident at 12 months, with drier-than-normal conditions dominating at the 24-month and longer time scales (percent of normal precipitation maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months).
Based on percent of normal average (instead of normal median values), in the Marshall Islands, precipitation during June and May-June was above normal at the regular-reporting stations except islands in the southeast where it was below normal. Wetter-than-normal conditions dominated for the 3- to 9-month time scales, with a mixed anomaly pattern at longer time scales (percent of normal precipitation maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months).
According to the June 30th USDM produced for the USAPI, drought ended at Wotje and abnormal dryness ended in the Marianas, but abnormal dryness developed on Majuro and moderate drought intensified to severe drought on Kapingamarangi. The rest of the USAPI stations were free of drought and abnormal dryness.
The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Guam issued three Drought Information Statements (DGT) for drought in June (on June 3, 10, and 23) discussing the conditions in the USAPI:
- Water levels continued to climb and vegetation continued to green up in the northern Marshalls at Wotje.
- By early June, after several weeks with little to no rain, water levels for both private and public water tanks on Kapingamarangi were roughly 30% of capacity and vegetation was turning yellow. A ship recently delivered water supplies to the island. Eight 1,500 gallon water tanks were also shipped to Kapingamarangi recently. These water tanks will bolster water resources once they are installed.
The reservoir on Majuro generally held steady for the first half of June but then steadily declined during the last half, ending the month with about 20.3 million gallons of water. This is below the threshold of concern for drought of 28.8 million gallons. Some of the low water level is due to one sector of the reservoir being serviced. This portion of the reservoir system typically holds 8 million gallons. But the steady decline, combined with below minimum rainfall, prompted the introduction of abnormal dryness on the USDM map.
Satellite observations of vegetation health (VHI, stressed vegetation, drought stress) on Guam indicated some parts of the island were still experiencing lingering stress, but many areas had recovered.
Dry weather in June lowered precipitation ranks at some stations, with record dryness occurring at Kapingamarangi:
- Kapingamarangi: driest May-June, April-June, & March-June (in a 28-year record); 2nd or 3rd driest rank for all other time periods (June and Feb-June thru July-June); last 12 months ranked as the 2nd driest July-June (19 years of data).
- Lukunor: 3rd driest June (38 years).
- Ulithi: 3rd driest June (38 years).
- Jaluit: 5th driest June (38 years).
- Chuuk: 7th driest June (71 years).
- Pago Pago: 28th driest June (57 years of data), but 5th driest March-June & Sep-June.
- Pingelap: 8th driest June (40 years) but 3rd driest May-June.
At the wet end of the scale, no station had the wettest June on record but several ranked wettest on record for several multi-month time periods.
The following analysis of historical data for the USAPI stations in the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily (GHCN-D) dataset, augmented with fill-in data from the 1981-2010 Normals, helps put the current data into historical perspective by computing ranks based on the period of record. The table below lists the precipitation ranks for June 2022, January-June 2022 (last 6 months), and July 2021-June 2022 (the last 12 months). Some stations have a long period of record and their dataset is fairly complete, while other stations have a shorter period of record and the dataset has some missing data.
|Station||June 2022||Jan-Jun 2022||Jul 2021-Jun 2022||Period of Record|
SPI values for seven time periods for Pacific Islands, computed by the Honolulu NWS office.
NOAA Regional Climate Centers
More information, provided by the NOAA Regional Climate Centers and others, can be found below.
As noted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, temperatures were above average, and precipitation was below average, across much of the Southeast region for the month of June. Extreme heat was observed in Puerto Rico, where a Heat Index value of 107 degrees F was measured in Arecibo, PR. The driest locations were found across North Carolina, western South Carolina, central Georgia, western Alabama, and Puerto Rico. Monthly precipitation totals ranged from 70 to less than 25 percent of normal across these locations, with 50 percent of stations in each of AL, VA, FL, and DC (only 1 station) recording less than 75 percent of their normal June precipitation. Jacksonville, FL (1871-2022) observed 1.17 inches (30 mm) of precipitation, more than 6 inches (152 mm) below normal, making this the driest June on record. In contrast, the wettest locations for the month were located across northern Virginia and southern Florida, the latter largely as a result of Potential Tropical Cyclone One.
Because of persistent dry weather, drought conditions intensified for much of the Southeast in June. By the end of the month, a pocket of severe drought (D2) expanded along the eastern North Carolina coast ringed by moderate drought (D1) and abnormally dry conditions (D0) that expanded throughout the whole state. Moderate drought (D1) ringed by abnormally dry conditions stretch from South Carolina down into Georgia, with an embedded pockets of severe drought (D2) expanding by the end of the month. Abnormally dry conditions (D0) expanded in Alabama and southern Virginia, with embedded pockets of moderate drought (D1). In Florida, drought conditions improved slightly with only abnormally dry conditions (D0) remaining. Drought conditions intensified across Puerto Rico for the month, with pockets of severe drought (D2) ringed by moderate drought (D1) and abnormally dry conditions (D0) across most of the Island and severe drought (D2) to extreme drought (D3) across the Virgin Islands.
Citrus crop producers in the northern part of Florida had to run irrigation, where little to no rain fell. All crops were stressed as hot and dry conditions impacted Georgia. Pasture and range conditions declined significantly as the hot and dry conditions limited grass growth. Limited rainfall and above average temperatures throughout South Carolina negatively affected fields and planting activities. The dry conditions allowed the spider mite population to multiply and impact many crops. Many pastures also dried out due to the hot and dry conditions.
As explained by the Southern Regional Climate Center, June 2022 was particularly warm across the Southern region, extending a pattern established in May. Overall, temperatures averaged 81.7 F, tenth warmest on record for the region and 2.7 F above normal. Texas had its fifth warmest June overall, at 83.8 F, while both Louisiana and Mississippi had their seventh warmest June, at 81.6 F and 82.8 F respectively. Precipitation in the Southern region averaged 2.20 inches, a full 1.65 inches below normal. Driest by ranking were Texas (1.27 inches, 15th driest), Tennessee (2.65 inches, 17th driest), and Louisiana (2.59 inches, 21st driest).
Dry conditions expanded across the region in June. Between May 31 and June 28, the proportion of the region that was at least abnormally dry increased from 60% to 82%, and drought area expanded from 49% to 54%. Texas was worst off, with 96% of the state at least abnormally dry, 86% in drought, and 44% in extreme drought. Water supply issues began to emerge, particularly in the southern Hill Country, where wells were beginning to run dry, and lack of water and forage continued to impact ranching operations. Dry conditions spread across Louisiana as well, as the proportion of the state at least abnormally dry grew from 66% to 98%. Oklahoma saw the greatest improvement, with the proportion of the state in at least extreme drought decreasing from 17% to 5%. As recently as March 15, 57% of the state had been in extreme or exceptional drought. Drought appeared in Arkansas and Tennessee, and drought coverage in Mississippi went from less than 1% to nearly 23%; only 3% of the state was not at least abnormally dry.
As described by the Midwest Regional Climate Center, the June average temperature for the Midwest was 69.9 degrees F (21.1 degrees C), which was 0.9 degrees F (0.5 degrees C) above the 1991-2020 normal, and June precipitation was 3.08 inches (78 mm), which was 1.46 inches (37 mm) below normal, or 68 percent of normal. All nine states measured below-normal precipitation for June, ranging from 0.31 inches (8 mm) below normal in Ohio to 2.4 inches (61 mm) below normal in Indiana. Preliminary data indicates Kentucky and Indiana had the 11th and 14th driest June since 1895, respectively. Ashland, Wisconsin had the 2nd driest June since 1893 with 0.78 inches (20 mm). Sioux City, Iowa tied for the 4th driest June since 1889 with just 1.15 inches (29 mm) of rainfall. Carbondale, Illinois had the 5th driest June since 1898 with 0.68 inches (17 mm), which was drier than June 2012. Minneapolis-St. Paul had the 5th driest June since 1871 with 1.13 inches (29 mm).
Coming off a wet spring, the Midwest started June with abnormal dryness and drought affecting about 10 percent of the region. Rapid drying progressed throughout the month fueled by minimal precipitation, high temperatures, and high evaporation rates. By month's end, 44% of the Midwest had abnormal dryness or drought. Across the lower Midwest, moderate drought was indicated in portions of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. Drought intensified and expanded in northwest Iowa. Abnormal dryness was present in at least a portion of all nine states.
As explained by the Northeast Regional Climate Center, despite multiple rounds of severe storms, June was drier than normal, allowing drought and abnormal dryness to expand, particularly in New England. The Northeast's June average temperature of 65.2 degrees F was 0.3 degrees F cooler than normal. During June, the Northeast received 3.44 inches of rain, 78 percent of normal. June rainfall for the 12 Northeast states ranged from 64 percent of normal in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to 103 percent of normal in Rhode Island, the lone wetter-than-normal state.
The USDM released on June 2 showed 3 percent of the Northeast in moderate drought and 12 percent as abnormally dry. Short-term precipitation deficits, below-normal streamflow and groundwater levels, and declining soil moisture led to the introduction/expansion of moderate drought in coastal Maine and southern New England and the introduction/expansion of abnormal dryness in New England, eastern/central New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Maryland, eastern West Virginia, and southern New Jersey. Only a few small areas saw improvement, most notably the easing of moderate drought in western Maine. The USDM released on June 30 showed 7 percent of the Northeast in moderate drought and 22 percent as abnormally dry.
As summarized by the High Plains Regional Climate Center, June was warm for much of the High Plains region. Summer-like conditions took hold in the High Plains towards the middle of the month, with above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation across the region. Drought conditions initially were improving towards the beginning of the month due to cool temperatures and above-normal precipitation, however, the prevailing hot and dry conditions led to intensification at the end of the month.
Temperatures were extremely hot in western Kansas this month, which led to many cattle deaths. A rapid increase in temperatures from 80 degrees F on the 9th to 104 degrees F on the 11th led over 2,000 cattle to perish. This extreme swing combined with other factors such as high overnight temperatures and minimal wind did not give time for cattle to adjust to conditions or to cool off.
June precipitation was well below-normal for many parts of the region, most notably in Wyoming and western Nebraska. Contrary to this, the Southwest monsoon season began early this year, with much-needed precipitation in the southern and western parts of Colorado. Much of Wyoming received less than an inch of precipitation this month, with the central part of the state nearly bone dry. Lander recorded trace amounts of precipitation which ties both 1956 and 1971 for driest on record. Nearby, Casper received 0.21 inch to rank 7th driest. This dryness stretched into western Nebraska, with North Platte and Chadron ranking 2nd and 3rd driest, after 0.43 and 0.84 inch of precipitation, respectively.
A wet start to the month led to drought improvements; however, dry and windy conditions prevailed towards the end of the month. The High Plains region observed a 6 percent decrease in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in June. North Dakota remained drought-free the entire month. The monsoon season began in the Southwest towards the end of the month, leading to improvements in Colorado. Severe drought (D2) was reduced by 12 percent due to this beneficial precipitation. South Dakota and Wyoming observed a 25 percent reduction to D1 after receiving above-normal precipitation. Conditions improved slightly in southwestern Kansas; however, D4 remained entrenched in the area. A large swath of extreme drought (D3) was introduced at the end of the month along the Colorado and Nebraska border. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed.
As described by the Western Regional Climate Center, active spring weather continued into June bringing generally near-normal temperatures across the Western U.S but widely varying precipitation. Near-to-slightly above-normal temperatures (0-3 degrees) were observed in the southern tier of the West and near-to-slightly below-normal temperatures across the northern tier (0-3 degrees). Well-above-normal precipitation occurred in the Pacific Northwest and into northern California as well as in the desert Southwest with an early onset of the North American Monsoon. Unfortunately, the active weather missed much of central California and Nevada with numerous stations reporting their driest June on record. Utah was largely near-normal, but June is typically dry in Utah. Many stations recorded no precipitation for the month, including Ely, NV (0.6 inch below average, 98 years of records); Salinas, CA (0.1 inch below average, 88 years of records); Reno, NV (0.4 inch below average, 127 years of records); and Santa Barbara, CA (0.2 inch below average, 126 years of records).
June began with a well-above normal snowpack remaining throughout the higher elevations of northern Western U.S. mountains and the Colorado Rockies. At the start of the month, snowpack had largely melted out in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and much of Oregon. By the end of June, snow had melted in all but the highest elevations and most protected aspects. Continued snow accumulation and below-normal temperatures and solar radiation during June helped improve peak snowpack in the northern Rockies (delaying peak snowpack timing by approximately a month), but below-normal peak snowpack occurred nonetheless in many locations. Rapid snowmelt took place in the latter half of June leading to some flood impacts. At the time of writing, approximately 84% of the western U.S. was in drought, with nearly a third (32%) experiencing extreme to exceptional drought. Exceptional drought was occurring in Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Montana.
Drought continued to improve (64% of area in drought compared to 89% in April) but remained on all Hawaiian Islands, with the most severe drought conditions on Maui, Moloka'i, and Lana'i. With a mean temperature of 79.7 degrees (0.4 degrees above average), Kahului, HI experienced its seventh hottest June since records began in 1954. June is typically the driest month in Hawaii. Drier-than-normal conditions were observed on Maui, with Kahului measuring 0.01 inch of rainfall or 0.16 inch below average, marking its 13th driest June since 1905.
June brought continued dry conditions to Alaska. Since April, when no areas of drought were reported, over 45% of the state is now in some form of drought, with 26% in abnormally dry (D0) conditions, nearly 18% in moderate drought (D1), and just over 1% in severe drought (D2). Severe drought is occurring in the lower Susitna Valley and parts of Anchorage, meaning over half the state's population is experiencing severe drought. Measuring 0.16 inch (1.45 inch below normal) of precipitation, Talkeetna observed 9% of normal June precipitation, making for its second driest June since 1918. Dry conditions in the Alaska Range were beneficial for extreme alpinism, with a new speed record set on Denali's classic mixed climbing testpiece, the Slovak Direct, but contributed to deteriorating ice and snow conditions across the massif. Temperatures were warmer than normal statewide. With a mean temperature of 56.2 degrees (3.2 degrees above average), Sitka experienced its warmest June since records began in 1945. Dry and warm temperatures contributed to favorable conditions for wildfire. Ignitions from lightning outbreaks resulted in 1.84 million acres burning in June, the second highest June total since 1990. Wildfires caused evacuations and smoke impacts in communities across the mainland.