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This Global Drought Narrative is based on global drought indicators available at the Global Drought Information System, and media reports summarized by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Global Drought Overview

Overview: GDIS global indicators revealed beneficial precipitation fell across parts of the world during June 2024, with North America and Central America having the wettest June in the 1940-2024 ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis dataset and Southern Africa ranking 13th wettest. But it continued dry in other regions. Eastern Africa had the eighth driest June, Africa (continent-wide) the tenth driest, and Mediterranean Basin the 14th driest. It was the 43rd driest (43rd wettest) June globally. The month was characterized by excessive temperatures. June 2024 was the warmest June on record for several continents, based on NOAA/NCEI data, and for the world, according to several datasets that include NOAA/NCEI data, ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis data, and NASA data. The anomalous heat has been relentless, with each of the 12 time periods from June 2024 back through July 2023-June 2024 achieving record status, based on these datasets and the European Union's climate change monitoring service (Copernicus). Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean Islands each had the hottest June in the NOAA/NCEI record, with Europe ranking second hottest and North America fourth hottest. The precipitation that fell in June was not enough to make up for many months to years of deficits. The last 12 months (July 2023-June 2024) ranked seventh driest for Southern Africa (which was wet in June), third driest for Northern Africa, and seventh driest for Africa continent-wide; it was the driest June in the 85-year ECMWF ERA5 record for South America and tenth driest for the Mediterranean. The excessive heat of the last 12 months increased evapotranspiration which exacerbated the drought conditions.

A significant portion of the world's agricultural lands was still suffering from low soil moisture and groundwater levels — especially in the Americas, Africa, eastern Europe, and parts of Asia — and satellite observations showed stressed vegetation on most continents. The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor indicated that agriculture was most threatened in parts of Central and South America, Africa, western Europe, southwest Russia, southern Australia, eastern China, and southeast Asia, as well as parts of the North American Plains. The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet) revealed significant food insecurity continuing in parts of Central and South America, Southwest Asia, and much of Africa.

Europe

Much of Europe was warmer and wetter than normal in June. The month was drier than normal in eastern parts of the continent and over parts of the British Isles, based on the 1-month Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Continent-wide, Europe had the second warmest June in the 1910-2024 NOAA/NCEI temperature record and 36th wettest June in the 1940-2024 ECMWF ERA5 Reanalysis precipitation record. Longer time scale SPI maps show dryness persisting in eastern parts of the continent (2 to 3 months), Scandinavia (2 to 9 months), and across the Mediterranean (3 to 72 months). Like the Mediterranean region, parts of Southeast Europe have been dry for most of the last 6 years. May-June and April-June 2024 were the second warmest such periods, and all 9 time periods from March-June back through July-June were the warmest such periods on record. The hot temperatures increased evapotranspiration (as seen on the Evaporative Demand Drought Index [EDDI] and Evaporative Stress Index [ESI] maps) which exacerbated the drought conditions — the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) maps show much more intense and widespread drought than the SPI maps, especially in the south and east. Satellite observations (GRACE) indicated depleted soil moisture continued across the eastern half of Europe, as well as along the Mediterranean coast and in Scandinavia. GRACE data also indicated depleted groundwater in these areas. However, satellite observations of vegetative health (Vegetative Health Index, VHI) revealed generally healthy vegetation due likely to beneficial precipitation of recent months. The European Combined Drought Indicator showed drought warnings or alerts across much of eastern and northern Europe, with persistent severe drought in the southwestern part of the Mediterranean basin.

According to media reports (Reuters), Greek firefighters and aircraft battled a blaze in the town of Koropi [30 kilometres (18.64 miles) south of Athens] in mid-June as strong winds fanned the flames and forced residents to flee their homes and businesses. Much of the Athens area has had no rain for weeks, leaving large areas bone dry. Germany's Deutsche Welle agency reported that Barcelona, Spain is greeting tourists with a message at the airport that says: "Drought alert. Save water during your stay."

Asia

June was warmer than normal across most of Asia; precipitation was above normal in some areas and below normal in other areas. The SPI maps showed dryness in June across parts of Southwest Asia, northern to eastern India, China, Southeast Asia, and several areas in Russia. Continent-wide, Asia had the warmest and 47th driest June, according to NOAA/NCEI and ECMWF ERA5 records, respectively. The 3-month SPI map shows large areas of dryness across Russia with dry areas in Mongolia to India, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia. They are not as widespread and intense at longer time scales, except in Southwest Asia and from northeast India to Myanmar, where they are more intense and widespread, especially at 24- to 60-month time scales. Unusual warmth characterized much of the last year, with April-June (last 3 months) ranking warmest on record and July 2023-June 2024 (last 12 months) ranking second warmest, according to ECMWF ERA5 records. The excessive warmth increased evapotranspiration, as seen on the EDDI and ESI maps, which made drought conditions worse (as seen on the SPEI maps). Satellite observations (GRACE) showed low soil moisture, as well as low groundwater, across much of Southwest and Southeast Asia, northern India, parts of China and Mongolia, and much of Russia. Satellite data (VHI) revealed poor vegetative health across Southwest Asia, northern India, Southeast Asia, and parts of northern China and Mongolia to eastern Siberia. Drought conditions were confirmed over northern, eastern, and southwestern parts of India on the India Drought Monitor, covering about 23.2% of the nation at the end of June, which is less than last month. Drought was indicated in parts of Micronesia and across large parts of the Polynesian islands south of the equator, especially at 3 months and with less intensity at 1 to 2 months and 6 to 12 months, on the NIWA Island Climate Update maps.

According to media reports (The Hindu Business Line), data from the Central Water Commission (CWC) showed that the water storage in India's major 150 reservoirs dropped in early June for the 35th week in a row with the levels dropping to below 30 per cent in all five regions of the country. Barron's/Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that drought, heatwaves and a pest that thrives in hot and dry conditions have stunted the growth of Vietnam's coffee trees, shrinking supply of the beans used in instant coffee. The 2024-25 crop of coffee beans, for which harvesting starts in October, is likely to be 15-20 percent lower than normal, Nguyen Nam Hai, the chairman of Vietnam's Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa), told AFP. Reuters added that Vietnamese coffee growers have been hit hard this year by the worst drought in nearly a decade, raising concerns of pricier espressos across the world, even as some farmers keep yields healthy with clever countermeasures. Domestic forecasts for next season's harvest in Vietnam, the world's second biggest coffee producer, remain grim. Xinhua reported that China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs activated a Level-III emergency response to drought in Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan in mid-June as sweltering heat continued to bake parts of the country. The ministry called for closer monitoring of the drought situation, the scientific allocation of water resources, and timely cloud seeding operations to combat the drought and ensure successful summer sowing. World-Grain.com/Bloomberg added that drought is expected to drop China's wheat and corn output, which could lead to increased imports for the nation that hasn't made major purchases recently due to oversupply and declining consumption, according to BOABC, a China-based agriculture consultancy. Another report by Reuters noted that record-high temperatures have swept across northwest and east China, a key grain producing region, during the crucial corn sowing season, threatening to curb production in the world's second-largest producer and consumer of the grain. The agriculture ministry warned mid-June that the drought is impacting the sowing and growth of new crops. Beijing has allocated 443 million yuan ($61.1 million) for drought prevention work such as watering, replanting and adding fertilizer in seven provinces. Germany's Deutsche Welle news agency reported that in Southwest Asia, more than 800 Iranian towns and villages, including the capital Tehran and the major city of Isfahan, are at risk from land subsidence caused by the country's acute drought. AKIpress reported that drought is expected in July in several areas of ten regions of Kazakhstan (Kostanay, Aktobe, Karaganda, Ulytau, Almaty, Zhambyl, Turkestan, Kyzylorda, Mangistau and Atyrau), according to the National Hydrometeorological Service of Kazakhstan.

Africa

Parts of western, northwestern, and eastern Africa were dry during June while other parts, especially in the south and northeast, were wetter than normal. June temperatures were much warmer than normal across virtually the entire continent. Continent-wide, June 2024 was the warmest and 39th wettest June in the NOAA/NCEI and ECMWF ERA5 records, respectively. The spatial variability in precipitation can be seen in regional ECMWF ERA5 ranks: Eastern Africa had the 8th driest June, Southern Africa the 13th wettest June, and Northern Africa the 30th driest June. The SPI maps show more intense and widespread dryness at longer time scales, especially in the south, west, and north at 2- to 12-month time scales. ECMWF ERA5 precipitation ranks for the 12-month period, July 2023-June 2024, include 3rd driest for Northern Africa, 7th driest for Southern Africa, and 36th driest for Eastern Africa. The driest areas on the SPI maps were southern Africa (especially at the 12-month time scale) and northwestern Africa, especially the Maghreb region. In northwestern Africa, the dryness at 12- to 60-month time scales was more intense for the longer time scales. Record heat characterized each of the last 12 time periods from June to July-June for Africa. The persistent heat increased evapotranspiration and made drought conditions more intense and widespread, with the SPEI maps showing almost all of the continent having some degree of drought for most time scales. Models and satellite (GRACE) observations revealed persistent low soil moisture and groundwater in the Maghreb and adjacent northern regions, and over much of central to southern Africa. Satellite observations of vegetative health (VHI) revealed stressed vegetation over virtually the entire continent, with the most severe conditions over the northern half of the continent and in the southwest. An analysis by the African Flood and Drought Monitor estimated 26% of the continent in drought at the end of June, which was a little less than last month, and included 13 countries in drought.

Australia

June 2024 brought beneficial rain to western Australia, while northern, eastern, and far southwestern parts of the continent, as well as Tasmania, were drier than normal. June temperatures were warmer than normal in the west and cooler than normal in the east. According to ECMWF ERA5 temperature and precipitation data, Australia had the 39th driest and 22nd warmest June in the 1940-2024 record. The June precipitation was not enough to make up deficits that have accumulated over the last several months, with western Australia having expanding and intensifying dryness on the SPI maps at longer time scales, especially starting at 6 months and going back to 24 months. Dry conditions have persisted across parts of southwest Australia and along the southern coast from the Bight in southern South Australia to Tasmania. Dryness was also evident on the SPI maps over parts of Northeast Australia as well as New Zealand. Abnormally hot temperatures have occurred over the last 12 months, especially in the west and south where evapotranspiration was above normal, with July 2023-June 2024 ranking as the second warmest such 12-month period for Australia continent-wide. The increased evapotranspiration made drought conditions more intense and widespread on the SPEI maps, especially at the 9- to 12-month time scales. Dry soils were evident along the southern to southwest coast of Australia, including Tasmania, according to GRACE soil moisture data. The GRACE data showed low groundwater in these areas and in parts of central and western Australia and the northern half of New Zealand. Satellite observations (VHI) revealed stressed vegetation across much of Australia, especially the west and southern regions, as well as parts of the east. These moisture anomaly patterns were confirmed by Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Combined Drought Indicator analyses, which also showed low streamflows in parts of southwestern and southeastern Australia and Tasmania; low water storage levels were indicated in Tasmania and western and eastern Australia, especially in the southeast and southwest coastal areas; and record low soil moisture in parts of southeast Australia. Parts of New Zealand, especially central areas, were in drought at the end of June, based on the New Zealand Drought Monitor map prepared by the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

South America

Southern, eastern, and northwestern coastal areas of South America were wetter than normal during June 2024, but most of the continent was drier than normal. The ECMWF ERA5 data ranked the month as the 34th driest June, continent-wide. Above-normal temperatures dominated South America, with only the southern and northwest tips near to cooler than normal. June 2024 ranked as the warmest June in the NOAA/NCEI record. SPI maps showed widespread dryness across Brazil and adjacent countries to the north, west, and south, as well as across the northern half of Argentina and Chile, at 1- to 2-month time scales. Dryness was not as intense at 3 months, but the intensity and coverage increased at longer time scales, extending into southern Argentina and Chile. July 2023-June 2024 was the driest such 12-month period in the ECMWF ERA5 record, continent-wide. The dry conditions were accompanied by persistently hot temperatures in most areas. All 12 of the time scales from June 2024 back through July 2023-June 2024 ranked as the warmest such periods, continent-wide, in the NOAA/NCEI record. The ESI and EDDI maps showed where the excessive warmth increased evapotranspiration, with most of the continent experiencing unusually high evapotranspiration on the 6- to 12-month EDDI maps. When the effects of low precipitation and high temperatures are combined, the SPEI maps show much more intense and widespread drought, with most of the continent having some form of drought at the longer time scales. Satellite observations (GRACE) show dry soils and low groundwater across huge swaths of South America — from the northern coast to southern Brazil, across southern Peru and Bolivia to central Argentina, and over southern Chile and Argentina. Satellite analysis (VHI) revealed poor vegetative health in the countries along the west coast and from central Argentina to central Brazil.

Drought was confirmed across most of Brazil on the Brazilian Drought Monitor (National Water Agency map, CEMADEN map), in Bolivia on the Bolivian Drought Monitor, in Chile and Argentina on the Southern South America Drought Information System (SISSA) maps, and in western South America countries on the CIIFEN Western South America Regional Drought Monitor. The SISSA 3-month drought index indicated 28.7% of Chile and Argentina was in drought or abnormally dry at the end of June, which is more than last month; the 6-month drought index had 36.8% of the region in drought or abnormally dry, which is more than last month; and the 12-month drought index had 51.2% of the region in drought or abnormally dry, which is a little less than last month. CEMADEN statistics indicated that, in Brazil, 739 municipalities had at least 40% of their agro-productive areas (agricultural activities and/or pastures) impacted by drought in June; last month the number was 279 municipalities. The number of municipalities in severe drought conditions across Brazil tripled, reaching 918 municipalities at the end of June.

According to media reports (Reuters and CNN), fires in Brazil's Pantanal wetlands have surged nearly tenfold so far this year to the highest levels since 2020, when the biome suffered its worst blazes on record. Satellite data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) showed a 980% increase in the number of fires in the Pantanal through June 5, compared with the same period of last year. The figures have raised alarms as the region heads into the riskiest season for wildfires, which usually starts in July and peaks in August and September. The fires in June broke historical records for the month. INPE detected 733 fires in the Pantanal biome by mid-June, with the previous record for fires in Pantanal for June being 435 registered in 2005. Nature World News added that Brazil is the world's leading producer and exporter of orange juice, whose worldwide supplies have been hovering around historic lows following four straight seasons of modest crops in the South American country. But the country's orange-growing regions have recently faced significant drought and heat stress in the crop's flowering phase, as well as frightening incidences of citrus greening disease, an incurable bacterial illness.

North America

In North America, the SPI showed June as drier than normal across parts of Mexico, Canada, and the United States (U.S.), and wetter than normal across other parts of these three countries, but beneficial heavy precipitation fell across most of Central America. June temperatures were warmer than normal across most of the continent, except for near to cooler-than-normal monthly temperatures over western to central Canada and much of Central America. NOAA/NCEI data ranked June 2024 as the fourth warmest June on record, continent-wide, and ECMWF ERA5 data gave a rank of wettest June on record. Unusual warmth characterized most of the last 12 months, with the periods April-June, February-June, and December-June through July-June (all 8 time periods) ranking warmest on record. It was particularly dry during the last 1 to 3 months across the western and southeastern contiguous U.S. (CONUS), the last 1 to 6 months over western and far eastern Canada, and the last 2 to 6 months over most of Mexico. The SPI maps show most of Canada dry at 12 to 48 months, much of Mexico and Central America dry at 12 to 60 months, and in the U.S. — dryness in the southern and central Plains to Ohio Valley at 24 to 60 months, and in parts of the West at 48 to 72 months. The unusually warm temperatures increased evapotranspiration across much of Mexico to Canada, as seen on the June ESI and EDDI maps. The EDDI maps show enhanced evapotranspiration across Mexico to the western CONUS, and from the eastern CONUS to eastern and northern Canada, at 2 to 3 months, and across most of the continent at 6- to 12-month time scales. The unusual warmth/evapotranspiration is reflected on the SPEI maps by more intense and expansive drought, especially at the longer time scales — virtually all of Canada and Mexico, and much of Central America, have some degree of drought at 12 to 48 months, with severe drought across large parts of the U.S. southern Plains at 12 to 36 months and southern Plains to western CONUS at 48 months.

According to NOAA/NCEI national analyses, the CONUS had the second warmest and 41st driest June in the 1895-2024 record, with moderate to exceptional drought covering 18.7% of the CONUS (15.8% of the 50 states and Puerto Rico), which is more than a month ago. Moderate to exceptional drought covered 54.8% of Mexico at the end of the month, which is less than a month ago. The National Meteorological Service ranked June 2024 as the wettest June in the 1941-2024 record and warmest June in the 1953-2024 record. In Canada, 16.4% of the country was in moderate to exceptional drought, and 38.5% was classified as abnormally dry (D0) or in moderate to exceptional drought (D1-D4), both of which are less than last month. Satellite (GRACE) observations revealed extensive areas of low groundwater across much of western to central Canada and parts of eastern Canada, the southern Plains of the U.S. to interior Pacific Northwest, and much of Mexico and Central America. GRACE observations of soil moisture indicated dry soils across those same areas in Canada, the Far West and southern Plains in the U.S., and large parts of Central America, but June rain improved soil moisture across much of Mexico. Satellite analysis (VHI) indicated poor vegetative health across western and southeastern parts of Canada, the western half of the U.S., and most of Mexico. The North American Drought Monitor (NADM) product depicted drought across the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, central Plains, southern Plains to Southwest, Ohio Valley to Mid-Atlantic coast, and much of the Southeast in the CONUS; across much of western and parts of central and eastern Canada; and across most of Mexico. NADM statistics showed 17.8% of the area and 24.5% of the population of North America affected by moderate to exceptional drought at the end of June; both of these are less than the values for the end of May. The Caribbean Regional Climate Center SPI maps showed areas of short-term (1 to 6 months) and long-term (12 to 24 months) dryness across various parts of the Caribbean region, but the SPEI maps indicated the focus of the dryness was in the southern Caribbean Islands.

In Canada, the AAFC (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada) reported that abnormally dry to drought conditions affected 35% of the country's agricultural landscape, which is less than last month. The National Water Commission (CONAGUA) reported that the overall deficit in Mexico's 210 main dams was 20% at the end of June; of this number of dams or reservoirs, 153 were below 50% of their capacity. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics indicated that drought affected approximately 26% of barley production, 7% of corn production, 19% of cotton production, 19% of sorghum production, 9% of soybean production, 6% of spring wheat production, 19% of winter wheat production, 17% of hay acreage, 14% of the cattle inventory, 10% of the milk cow inventory, and 17% of the sheep inventory at the end of June. All of these (except for sorghum and winter wheat) are higher than they were last month. The USDA reported that 15% of the nation's winter wheat crop, 9% of the corn crop, 8% of the soybean crop, 4% of the spring wheat crop, and 23% of the pasture and rangeland were in poor to very poor condition, and 28% of the nation's topsoil and 28% of the subsoil were short or very short of moisture (dry or very dry).

According to media reports (Chemistry & Engineering News), chemical production in Mexico was paused in early June as authorities diverted water from industrial consumers to local communities due to Mexico's worst drought in more than a decade. Produce Bluebook added that drought conditions are impacting lime supplies in Mexico and markets are poised to rise. The 165- through 200-count lemon market remains elevated due to extremely low volume and strong demand. The Mexico Yucatan Times warned that a true environmental crisis is currently being experienced in Izamal since high temperatures and lack of rain affect the agricultural, beekeeping, and livestock sectors. In addition to that, Mexico News Daily reported that, in February, media outlets started blaring warnings about an impending "Day Zero" when Mexico City would run out of water. Lingering drought and extreme heat are conspiring to threaten the most populous city in North America with a disaster of epic proportions. The ominous reports even provided a date on which more than 20 million people would be left without water: June 26. The media agency noted: "A crisis, yes, but Mexico City is not on the verge of a parched, gasping apocalypse ... yet."


Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Global Drought Narrative for June 2024, published online July 2024, retrieved on July 20, 2024 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global-drought/202406.