Map released: Thurs. October 1, 2020
Data valid: September 29, 2020 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:

West Drought Summary

Precipitation in the Pacific Northwest aided wildfire containment efforts and brought slight improvement in the drought situation, mainly west of the northern Cascades. However, the remainder of the West remained warm and dry, with gusty winds and low humidity levels contributing to another round of dangerous wildfire activity in northern California. The much-needed Northwestern precipitation delivered daily-record amounts on September 23 in western Washington locations such as Hoquiam (1.32 inches); Olympia (1.23 inches); and Seattle (1.08 inches). Troutdale, Oregon, reported more than an inch of rain on September 18, 23, and 25—with totals of 1.13, 1.18, and 1.02 inches, respectively. Precipitation spread as far inland as the northern Rockies; in Idaho, daily-record totals included 0.55 inch (on September 25) in Stanley and 0.54 inch (on September 26) in McCall. Farther south, several new patches of exceptional drought (D4) were introduced or expanded in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. As the water year (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) came to an end, extreme drought (D3) was expanded in northern California and portions of neighboring states. California’s two most dangerous new wildfires were the Glass and Zogg Fires, both of which started on September 27. The Glass Fire, in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and the Zogg Fire, in Shasta County, both scorched about 50,000 acres of vegetation a couple of days, with little containment. Meanwhile, very poor to poor ratings were indicated by USDA on September 27 on at least 50% of rangeland and pastures in all Western States except Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, led by Oregon (82% very poor to poor). On the same date, topsoil moisture was at least 60% very short to short in every Western State except Arizona, led by New Mexico (86% very short to short).

Full Summary

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