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U.S. Drought: Weekly Report for May 28, 2024

The sun setting behind clouds over a valley.
Courtesy of

According to the May 28, 2024 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 10.5% of the United States including Puerto Rico, about the same as last week. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) stayed about the same as last week’s 0.6%.

The upper-level circulation over North America during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week (May 22–28) consisted of a ridge of high pressure over Mexico and a trough of low pressure over southern Canada and the northwestern contiguous U.S. (CONUS). Pacific weather systems moved across the CONUS through the westerly flow in between the ridge and trough. The Pacific systems dragged cold fronts and low-pressure systems at the surface with them. The fronts and surface lows tapped Gulf-of-Mexico moisture to spread above-normal precipitation across the Mississippi Valley, parts of the Plains, and the Tennessee and Ohio valleys. They also triggered several rounds of severe weather in these areas. 

Weekly temperatures were warmer than normal across the South, due to the Mexico ridge, and along the Eastern Seaboard, due to a southerly flow ahead of the weather systems. Temperatures averaged colder than normal for the week across the West and northern Plains due to the upper-level trough. The Gulf of Mexico coast, much of the West, and parts of the Plains and East Coast were drier than normal. The above-normal precipitation contracted drought and abnormal dryness in the Mississippi Valley and parts of the Plains to the northern Rockies; drought and abnormal dryness also contracted in Hawaii. 

Persistent dry conditions resulted in expansion or intensification of drought or abnormal dryness in parts of the Pacific Northwest, central to southern Plains, and the Florida peninsula. Nationally, contraction equaled expansion, so the nationwide moderate-to-exceptional drought area percentage did not change this week.

Abnormal dryness and drought are currently affecting over 40 million people across the United States including Puerto Rico—about 13.0% of the population.

U.S. Drought Monitor map for May 28, 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 X.