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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for January 25, 2022

Snowy landscape, with lake, and mountain in background
Courtesy of Canva.com

According to the January 25, 2022 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 46.1% of the United States including Puerto Rico, about the same as last week. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) increased from 9.4% last week to 10.2%. 

The upper-level circulation pattern during this USDM week consisted of a very strong ridge/trough pattern across the contiguous United States Aside from the Washington coast, little to no precipitation fell beneath the amplified ridge over the West, and even the precipitation in Washington was below normal for the week. Precipitation was above normal over only a few parts of the northern and central Rockies. Upper-level weather systems moved up and over the western ridge, with some dipping into the Four Corners states, before merging with the upper-level trough over the eastern contiguous United States. The surface lows associated with these weather systems brought above-normal precipitation to parts of the northern Plains and western Great Lakes, across parts of the western Gulf of Mexico coast to central Appalachians, and over parts of the Mid-Atlantic coast. Otherwise, weekly precipitation was drier than normal across most of the contiguous United States. 

Temperatures were near to warmer than normal for the week beneath the ridge in the West, while cold Canadian air masses followed strong cold fronts to spread below-normal temperatures across most of the contiguous United States east of the Rockies. 

Drought expansion and intensification occurred in parts of the Great Plains to Mid-Mississippi Valley. Drought contracted or was reduced in intensity across parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Mid-Atlantic Coast. Overall, expansion slightly exceeded contraction over the contiguous United States, with the nationwide moderate to exceptional drought area increasing a little this week.

Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 139 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 44.9% of the population.

U.S. Drought Monitor map for January 25, 2022

The full U.S. Drought Monitor weekly update is available from Drought.gov.

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.

The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.

For additional drought information, follow #DroughtMonitor on Facebook and Twitter.

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