Map released: Thurs. May 25, 2023
Data valid: May 23, 2023 at 8 a.m. EDT

Intensity

  • None
  • D0 (Abnormally Dry)
  • D1 (Moderate Drought)
  • D2 (Severe Drought)
  • D3 (Extreme Drought)
  • D4 (Exceptional Drought)
  • No Data

Authors

United States and Puerto Rico Author(s):

Pacific Islands and Virgin Islands Author(s):

The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary for forecast statements.

Statistics

Statistics type ?
Week Date None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4 DSCI

Estimated Population in Drought Areas:

Current Impacts


To see or report current drought impacts, please visit the Drought Impacts Toolkit, where you can find impacts from media in the Drought Impact Reporter and from citizen scientists and other volunteer observers under Condition Monitoring Observations.

Historic Impacts


No two states have the same experience during a drought. Below are examples of some of the impacts experienced in California in the past. To view a more complete record, and to filter impacts by drought severity, sector and season, check out the interactive State Impacts Tool.

CategoryExamples of historically observed impacts
D0Active fire season begins
Dryland crop germination is stunted
Soil is dry; irrigation delivery begins early
Winter resort visitation is low; snowpack is minimal
D1Dryland pasture growth is stunted; producers give supplemental feed to cattle
Landscaping and gardens need irrigation earlier; wildlife patterns begin to change
Stock ponds and creeks are lower than usual
D2Fire season is longer, with high burn intensity, dry fuels, and large fire spatial extent; more fire crews are on staff
Grazing land is inadequate
Producers increase water efficiency methods and drought-resistant crops
River flows decrease; reservoir levels are low and banks are exposed
Trees are stressed; plants increase reproductive mechanisms; wildlife diseases increase
Water temperature increases; programs to divert water to protect fish begin
Wine country tourism increases; lake- and river-based tourism declines; boat ramps close
D3Dairy operations close
Federal water is not adequate to meet irrigation contracts; extracting supplemental groundwater is expensive
Fire season lasts year-round; fires occur in typically wet parts of state; burn bans are implemented
Fruit trees bud early; producers begin irrigating in the winter
Livestock need expensive supplemental feed, cattle and horses are sold; little pasture remains, producers find it difficult to maintain organic meat requirements
Low river levels impede fish migration and cause lower survival rates
Orchard removal and well drilling company business increase; panning for gold increases
Ski and rafting business is low, mountain communities suffer
Water conservation rebate programs increase; water use restrictions are implemented; water transfers increase
Water is inadequate for agriculture, wildlife, and urban needs; reservoirs are extremely low; hydropower is restricted
Water sanitation is a concern, reservoir levels drop significantly, surface water is nearly dry, flows are very low; water theft occurs
Wells and aquifer levels decrease; homeowners drill new wells
Wildlife encroach on developed areas; little native food and water is available for bears, which hibernate less
D4Fields are left fallow; orchards are removed; vegetable yields are low; honey harvest is small
Fire season is very costly; number of fires and area burned are extensive
Fish rescue and relocation begins; pine beetle infestation occurs; forest mortality is high; wetlands dry up; survival of native plants and animals is low; fewer wildflowers bloom; wildlife death is widespread; algae blooms appear
Many recreational activities are affected
Policy change; agriculture unemployment is high, food aid is needed
Poor air quality affects health; greenhouse gas emissions increase as hydropower production decreases; West Nile Virus outbreaks rise
Water shortages are widespread; surface water is depleted; federal irrigation water deliveries are extremely low; junior water rights are curtailed; water prices are extremely high; wells are dry, more and deeper wells are drilled; water quality is poor;

How is drought affecting you?

Use the Condition Monitoring Observer Report (CMOR) system to let us know how dry, wet or normal conditions are affecting you, and see what others are saying.

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