U.S. Drought Monitor
Map released: Thurs. September 16, 2021
Data valid: September 14, 2021 at 8 a.m. EDT


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


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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.

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Estimated Population in Drought Areas:

High Plains Drought Summary

Short-term dryness and drought has become more apparent in recent weeks across the southern section of the region, including parts of Kansas and Colorado, aggravated by periods of late-summer heat. A monthly record of 89°F was tied on September 10 in Alamosa, Colorado. Alamosa again reached 89°F on September 11, tying the record first set on September 5 and 6, 2020, while Colorado Springs, Colorado, achieved a new September standard (98°F; previously, 97°F on September 6, 2020). Across the High Plains, September 10-11 featured consecutive triple-digit, daily-record highs in communities such as McCook, Nebraska (102 and 104°F); Goodland, Kansas (103 and 102°F); and Burlington, Colorado (101 and 100°F). Dodge City, Kansas (105°F on the 11th), achieved a 105-degree reading in September for only the third time on record, following 106°F on September 3, 1947, and 107°F on September 1, 2011. Farther north, there were some adjustments (mostly improvements) to the drought depiction, primarily in the Dakotas, based on favorable impacts from recent rain events. For example, improvements in topsoil moisture have led to some greening of drought-affected pastures and have encouraged winter wheat producers to begin planting. Still, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on September 12 that topsoil moisture was 64 to 71% very short to short in the Dakotas, while rangeland and pastures were rated 77 to 80% very poor to poor, reflecting the long road ahead regarding drought recovery. On the same date, statewide topsoil moisture on the High Plains ranged from 39% very short to short in Nebraska to 79% in Wyoming.

Full Summary

Drought Impact Reporter

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