U.S. Drought Monitor
Map released: Thurs. July 29, 2021
Data valid: July 27, 2021 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.

Map Download

No text:

Legend:

Legend and statistics table:

Statistics

Estimated Population in Drought Areas:

West Drought Summary

Further expansion of moderate to exceptional drought (D1 to D4) was introduced in parts of California and the Northwest, as agricultural, wildfire, and water-supply impacts continued to mount. Oregon’s third-largest wildfire in modern history, the Bootleg Fire, has burned more than 410,000 acres of timber and brush, but was more than 50% contained. California’s largest active blaze, the Dixie Fire, has scorched nearly 220,000 acres only about 15 miles northeast of the town of Paradise, which was devastated by the Camp Fire in 2018. Washington continued to lead the country in several drought-related agricultural categories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including topsoil moisture rated very short to short (99% on July 25), as well as very poor to poor ratings for rangeland and pastures (97%) and spring wheat (88%). In addition to Washington, at least two-thirds of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor on July 25 in Montana (91%), Arizona (82%), Oregon (80%), and Utah (69%). Montana rivaled Washington for agricultural drought severity, with topsoil moisture rated 97% very short to short and a nation-leading 70% of its barley rated very poor to poor. Farther south, however, an active monsoon circulation delivered drought relief in the form of diurnal showers and thunderstorms, some heavy. Up to one category of improvement was introduced in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and southern sections of Utah and Nevada. In Arizona, Tucson received more rain in 6 days (4.20 inches fell from July 20-25) than during all of 2020, when annual precipitation of 4.17 inches was the lowest on record. Despite the positive effect of monsoonal showers on surface conditions (e.g. improved vegetation health, topsoil moisture, and streamflow), serious long-term, underlying drought persisted, with obvious impacts on groundwater and reservoirs. The surface elevation of Lake Mead, on the Colorado River behind Hoover Dam, fell to a new record low—1,067.59 feet above sea level—on July 23. In Utah, the surface elevation of the Great Salt Lake fell below 4,191.4 feet in late July, breaking the previous record low set in 1963.

Full Summary

Drought Impact Reporter

How is drought affecting you? Submit drought impact and condition reports via the Drought Impact Reporter.

Submit report