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U.S. Drought: Weekly Report for February 13, 2024

Snow-covered wooden cabin with snow drifts piled high on the porch.
Courtesy of

According to the February 13, 2024 U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), moderate to exceptional drought covers 16.3% of the United States including Puerto Rico, a decrease from last week’s 17.8%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) decreased from 1.6% last week to 1.3%.

Several Pacific weather systems moved across the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during this U.S. Drought Monitor week (February 7–13). They moved within an upper-level circulation pattern that consisted of a low-pressure trough over the western CONUS with a high-pressure ridge to the north over western Canada. An upper-level high-pressure ridge was located over the eastern CONUS and extended into eastern Canada. The eastern ridge kept temperatures warmer than normal across the CONUS east of the Rockies, while the western trough was associated with colder-than-normal weekly temperatures over the southwestern fourth of the CONUS. 

The Canada-ridge/CONUS-trough pattern over western North America kept the week drier than normal over the U.S. west coast from northern California to Washington. When the Pacific systems moved over the western CONUS, they spread above-normal precipitation over southern California, the Four Corners states, and most of the Rockies. As they moved east of the Rockies, some weather systems went north to bring above-normal precipitation to parts of the northern Plains and Minnesota. Others headed south and tapped Gulf of Mexico moisture to generate widespread well-above-normal precipitation across the southern Plains to coastal Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.This split in the storm track left much of the central Plains to Northeast dry, as well as Deep South Texas and the Florida Peninsula. A trailing cold front from one of the weather systems extended into the Caribbean, bringing wet conditions to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alaska had a mixed precipitation anomaly pattern, while a ridge kept Hawaii drier than normal for the week. 

Drought or abnormal dryness contracted or was reduced in intensity over the Southwest, Lower Mississippi Valley to Tennessee Valley, and parts of the Plains, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico. Drought or abnormal dryness expanded or intensified in a few parts of the Northwest, Midwest, Texas, and Hawaii. Nationally, contraction was more than expansion, so the nationwide moderate to exceptional drought area decreased again this week. 

Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 55 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 17.9% of the population.

U.S. Drought Monitor map for February 13, 2024.

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.