Map released: Thurs. February 2, 2023
Data valid: January 31, 2023 at 7 a.m. EST

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.

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Statistics

West Drought Summary

Precipitation was below-normal across the region, especially along the West Coast. Due to weeks of heavy precipitation, from a series of atmospheric rivers, halted most degradations or improvements this week despite the deluge, placing much of the region on a holding pattern. The rain did give reservoirs a much-needed boost, but California’s infrastructure is not set up to make use of such a massive rainfall. Because of California’s system of dams and levees, which try to control surface water flow, underground aquifers are not always able to recharge their overpumped supplies during heavy rain events. When rivers are restricted, less water comes into contact with soil surfaces and less water is therefore able to seep down into aquifers. In the drier areas of the West, moderate (D1) drought expanded into parts of northern Idaho and northwestern Montana due to continued degrading conditions that can be observed in soil moisture, streamflow, and precipitation deficits (up to five inches) for this area. In Utah, much of the state has above normal snowpack but no improvements were made this week based on the current issues with groundwater and depleted reservoirs.

Full Summary

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