According to the January 17, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 19.3% of the contiguous United States, a decrease from last week’s 20.8%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also decreased from 2.6% last week to 2.4%.
Strong low pressure systems and cold fronts moved across the West and Great Plains to the Northeast this U.S. Drought Monitor week, bringing widespread above-normal precipitation which contracted drought and abnormally dry areas. Meanwhile, subtropical high pressure kept the Southeast warmer and drier than normal.
In addition to Drought.gov, you can find further information on the current drought as well as on this week’s Drought Monitor update at the National Drought Mitigation Center. See their recent news releases.
The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agriculture Outlook Board provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.