According to the May 30, 2017, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to extreme drought covers 5.3% of the contiguous United States, an increase from last week’s 4.5%. However, areas in extreme drought decreased slightly from around 0.4% last week to 0.3%. Exceptional drought, the worst category, continued to remain absent from the country for the 19th consecutive week.
The U.S. Drought Monitor week (May 23–30) was characterized by above normal precipitation across much of the Southeast and Mid‐Atlantic. Soaking rains fell in the eastern half of the country during the first half of the week, providing drought relief in the hardest hit areas of Georgia and northern Florida. By the time the system had moved out on May 27, much of the region had received more than double the rainfall (2 inches or more) of what is typically expected for the week.
Drought and dryness continued in the High Plains, parts of the South, and much of the Southwest. Temperatures across much of the country were at or below normal for the period. However, the Northwest was 5–10 degrees above 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 provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.