To determine if there is an ongoing drought in your region, you can follow these steps to access reliable and up-to-date information from government websites:

  • 1. Visit the U.S. Drought Monitor website: The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a collaborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The USDM provides a weekly map and summary of drought conditions across the United States. Access the website at https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
  • 2. Locate your region on the map: On the USDM homepage, you will find a map of the United States displaying various colors that represent different levels of drought intensity. Use the map’s zoom feature or the search bar to find your region. Take note of the color that corresponds to your area.
  • 3. Understand the drought intensity levels: The USDM uses a scale of five drought intensity levels, ranging from D0 (Abnormally Dry) to D4 (Exceptional Drought). Each level is represented by a different color on the map. Refer to the legend on the map to understand the severity of the drought in your region.
  • 4. Read the accompanying text summary: Below the map, you will find a text summary that provides additional context and details about the current drought conditions. This summary may include information about the factors contributing to the drought, its impacts, and any expected changes in the near future.
  • 5. Check for updates: Since the USDM is updated every Thursday, it is essential to revisit the website regularly to stay informed about the latest drought conditions in your region.
  • 6. Explore additional resources: The USDM website also offers various tools and resources to help you better understand and monitor drought conditions. These resources include data tables, time-lapse animations, and customizable maps. Access these tools by clicking on the “Data & Services” tab at the top of the homepage.

By following these steps, you can stay informed about the ongoing drought conditions in your region and make informed decisions about water conservation and other drought-related actions.

Additional resources

  • `. National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS): NIDIS is a program within NOAA that aims to improve the nation’s capacity to manage drought-related risks. The NIDIS website offers various tools and resources, such as the U.S. Drought Portal, which provides access to drought-related data, forecasts, and information on current and historical drought conditions.
  • 2. National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Prediction Center: The NWS Climate Prediction Center provides climate outlooks, including precipitation and temperature forecasts, which can help you understand the likelihood of drought conditions in your region. The center also offers drought monitoring and assessment tools, such as the Palmer Drought Severity Index and the Standardized Precipitation Index.
  • 3. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch: USGS WaterWatch provides real-time information on streamflow conditions across the United States. This resource allows you to monitor water levels in rivers and streams in your region, which can be an indicator of drought conditions.
  • 4. USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): NASS provides timely, accurate, and useful statistics on agriculture and the environment, including data on crop conditions and soil moisture. This information can help you understand the impact of drought on agricultural production in your region.

By utilizing these government resources, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the current drought conditions in your region and make informed decisions about water conservation and management.

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