Map released: Thurs. September 12, 2019
Data valid: September 10, 2019 at 8 a.m. EDT


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


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

Unsettled weather brought widespread light precipitation to much of the High Plains, especially Montana and the Dakotas, while monsoonal moisture produced scattered showers in Colorado, western Nebraska, and parts of Kansas and Wyoming. With much of the region drought-free, the rains fell on top soils with adequate to surplus moisture. The few areas with D0 or D1 did receive precipitation, and some improvements were made. In northwestern Montana, 2-3 inches of rain in the Mission Mountains and widespread 1-2 inches across Lake and Flathead counties have produced near record maximum stream flows for this time of year. With 60- and 90-day totals now at normal or surplus, D0 was removed, and D1 shrunk to just include Lincoln County where weekly amounts were somewhat lower, and short-term deficits still remained. In North Dakota, another week of rain (0.5-1.5 inches) continued to reduce short and medium-term deficiencies, with D1 removed and the D0 shrunk to better fit dwindling 60-day deficits. In central Colorado, 1-2 inches of rain south of Denver eliminated short-term deficiencies, thus D0 was erased. Farther to the southwest and southeast, however, dry and warm weather increased 90-day deficiencies as the southwest monsoon has been weak and spotty, generating SPIs less than -1.5 on a 30-, 60-, and 90-day time scales. The wet winter and spring is fast becoming a faded memory as the summer heat and dryness continued to assert itself with impacts. Accordingly, D0 expanded into Gunnison, Pitkin, and Saguache counties in the southwest, while D0 increased in Las Animas and Otero counties in the southeast. D1 also slightly crept northward in southwestern Colorado.

Full Summary

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