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U.S. Drought: Weekly Report for February 6, 2024

Furry brown rodent that resembles a groundhog in a field of yellow and purple flowers.
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According to the February 6, 2024 U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), moderate to exceptional drought covers 17.8% of the United States including Puerto Rico, a decrease from last week’s 19.7%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) decreased from 1.9% last week to 1.6%.

The atmospheric circulation over North America for this USDM week (January 31–February 6) was dominated by an upper-level ridge of high pressure centered over the central part of the contiguous U.S. that extended into central Canada. 

Like last week, the ridge was responsible for above-normal temperatures across the U.S. and well into Canada. Also like last week, several Pacific weather systems moved against the ridge. Some were deflected into Canada along the northern boundary of the ridge, then moved south into the northeastern contiguous U.S—cut off from moisture sources, these were dry systems by the time they reached the Northeast. Other Pacific weather systems undercut the ridge and moved across the southern tier states; these were able to tap into Pacific and Gulf of Mexico moisture. Their surface low pressure systems and fronts brought rain and snow to western parts of the U.S. along with rain to southern and central parts. Weekly precipitation was above normal across much of the West and central Plains, as well as from east Texas to the Southeast. 

The week was drier than normal from the northern Plains to most of the East Coast. Drought or abnormal dryness contracted or was reduced in intensity over parts of the western, central, and southern contiguous U.S. Drought or abnormal dryness expanded or intensified in a few parts of Utah, Minnesota, and the northern Plains. Nationally, contraction was much greater than expansion, so the nationwide moderate to exceptional drought area decreased again this week.

Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 58 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 18.9% of the population.

U.S. Drought Monitor map for February 6, 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.