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U.S. Drought: Weekly Report for June 18, 2024

A wave breaking upon a shore with the sun low on the horizon.
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According to the June 18, 2024 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 10.1% of the United States including Puerto Rico, an increase from last week’s 9.8%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) stayed about the same as last week’s 0.6%.

The upper-level circulation over the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week (June 12–18) was dominated by high-pressure ridging which brought hotter and drier-than-normal weather to much of the country. The ridge migrated from the southwestern CONUS to the East as the week progressed, bringing with it increased evapotranspiration that further dried soils. The main jet-stream flow was pushed to the north along the U.S.-Canadian border. Fronts and surface low-pressure systems tracked along the jet stream, generating above-normal rainfall over areas in the northern Plains to the Upper Mississippi Valley, with some wet areas extending southward across parts of the central Plains and in a few areas in the Southwest. Tropical moisture gave southern Florida rounds of very heavy rain. 

As the USDM week ended, an upper-level trough was moving across the Pacific Northwest, where weekly temperatures averaged cooler-than-normal, and a tropical system was developing in the western Gulf of Mexico, bringing the threat of heavy rain to Mexico and southern Texas. Drought was all but eliminated and abnormal dryness contracted in southern Florida, and drought or abnormal dryness contracted in a few parts of the central Plains and northern Rockies. But the heat and continued lack of precipitation resulted in expansion or intensification of drought and abnormal dryness in parts of the Rockies and Plains and across a large part of the country east of the Mississippi River. 

Nationally, expansion was more than contraction, so the nationwide moderate to exceptional drought area percentage increased this week. Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 97 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 31.4% of the population.

U.S. Drought Monitor Map for June 18, 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.