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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for June 21, 2022

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According to the June 21, 2022, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 39.8% of the United States including Puerto Rico, an increase from last week’s 39.2%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) decreased from 16.4% last week to 16.0%. 

A strong high pressure ridge was anchored across the central half of the contiguous United States (CONUS) during this USDM week (June 15-21). Upper-level troughs of low pressure battled against the ridge over the West and Northeast. This circulation pattern resulted in much warmer-than-normal temperatures for the week across the Great Plains to Great Lakes and Southeast, and cooler-than-normal temperatures over the West and Northeast. The ridge, with its hot dry air, suppressed precipitation, so most of the country east of the Rockies was drier than normal. A robust Southwest Monsoon brought above-normal rainfall to the Four Corners states, and Pacific weather systems moving in a northern storm track gave parts of the Pacific Northwest a wetter-than-normal week, but the week was drier than normal elsewhere across the West. Some Pacific weather systems were deflected across the northern edge of the high pressure ridge and brought areas of precipitation to the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

Drought or abnormal dryness contracted or reduced in intensity over the Pacific Northwest and Montana where precipitation was above normal. But drought or abnormal dryness expanded or intensified over parts of the central and southern Plains and Southeast, and expanded or was introduced in the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio valleys where the hot and dry conditions were the harbinger of flash drought. Spotty heavy rain improved drought or abnormally dry conditions in parts of Alaska, while other parts experienced continuing dry weather that prompted expansion or intensification of drought and abnormal dryness. Drought or abnormal dryness expanded or intensified over parts of Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The ridge over the CONUS gave expansion an edge, so expansion exceeded contraction and the nationwide moderate to exceptional drought area increased this week. But precipitation in the Pacific Northwest and Montana helped reduce the national total area of the worst categories—extreme to exceptional drought.

Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 155 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 49.9% of the population.


US Drought Monitor map for June 21, 2022

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

In addition to, 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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