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No two states experience the same set of impacts during a drought. We developed tables with drought impacts that have been reported in each state, for each U.S Drought Monitor (USDM) category, during the onset of a major drought.

This supplements and enhances the general nationwide information in the “Possible Impacts” column of the U.S. Drought Monitor Classification Scheme, describing what impacts may be associated with each level of drought.

Select a state to see which impacts correspond with the U.S. Drought Monitor categories.

CategoryImpact
D0 Forage crops and pasture are stressed; producers feed livestock early
Ground is hard
Agriculture ponds and creeks begin to decline
D1 Cash crop growth and yield are low
National forests implement campfire and firework bans
Streams and ponds are low
Fire activity increases
D2 Crops are damaged, eSpecialty dryland corn
Burn bans begin
Large cracks appear in foundations of homes
Large surface water levels drop; agricultural ponds and streams have dried up
Saltwater intrusion occurs in rivers and bays; saltwater wildlife migrate upstream
Hydroelectric power decreases; navigation is limited
D3 Soybean pods shatter
Large-scale hay shortages occur; producers sell livestock
Wildfire count and fire danger continue to increase
Landscape growth is stunted and needs irrigation; Christmas tree growth is stunted
Ground has noticeable cracks; road damage has occurred
Low flow in rivers and lakes affects recreation
Water mains break daily in large municipalities; water conservation is implemented
Air quality is poor
D4 Trees and shrubs are defoliated; grass is brown; landscaping projects are delayed
Wildfire count is very high
Lakes are extremely low; large municipalities implement water restrictions; water prices increase

How well does this table characterize drought impacts in your state? Think an impact is missing? Please fill out this survey to help improve the table.

Method


We linked impacts chronicled in the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR) (droughtreporter.unl.edu) with U.S. Drought Monitor severity levels and used a reproducible methodology to identify key themes. The table represents impacts observed during the emergence of one major drought since 2005 in each state or region. We used DIR data because it offers a methodologically consistent, longitudinal collection that spans major drought events. This is an evolving project. The impact tables can and should be updated in the future.

For more information, please contact us.