U.S. Drought Monitor website

– Posted in: Weather

Map of New York state showing drought areasI mentioned the Drought Monitor website two years ago, when we were going through a drought. At least, we thought we were, but that Drought Monitor only said “abnormally dry.”

  • That’s the most disturbing thing about the map. You think you’ve got it bad, and then you see some other part of the country has it worse, much worse. I shudder to think what it looks like in those “exceptional” areas.
  • Check out the 6-week and 12-week animations at the bottom of the page, and watch the drought expand and contract. Drought conditions along Lakes Ontario and Erie had just about disappeared by 31 August, and then returned worse than ever on 4 September.
  • The map reflects a synthesis of several indicators and is meant to give the big picture. Just as with hardiness zones, your particular dot on the map may not be accurately represented.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Jenn September 17, 2007, 10:27 pm

Yep. We’re in a D3 zone. I was talking to a fella whose been in Phoenix for 23 years, and he says he’s never seen a drier monsoon season. Skyharbor airport recorded something along the lines of .67 inch for the period.

Today? we had two goodly rainbursts come through while I was at work.

Hmmm, so the non-native Arizonian starts thinking – the ‘rainy’ season ends, and then you get rain?

Strange, being in a new environment. The cold snap in Michigan- frosts a month early – is coinciding with our air conditioner FINALLY being able to cool the house to below 80 degrees F at night.

Feels so good to sleep ‘cool’ again. Oh, how I miss Michigan. But at least I’m not crying as I type this, so things are getting better here…

Mary Ann Newcomer September 15, 2007, 9:15 pm

ohhhhhhh noooooo. I really didn’t need to look at this to know how much trouble we are in here in Idaho. Most of the state is on fire, 4 inches of rain this year (average is 11) and no reprieve in sight. KP, I would like to mention this on my web-page and give you credit.


Linda MacPhee-Cobb September 14, 2007, 6:27 pm

Thanks for the link. I had great fun checking out all the various maps there.

Kris at Blithewold September 13, 2007, 2:27 pm

What a great link. I’m going to include it in my post about our rainy Tuesday (and will give you credit for leading me there). Thank you!

Cynthia September 13, 2007, 7:51 am

WOW! After looking at this map, I now can SEE what my Dad and the rest of my family are suffering. They are in D4 – exceptional, and my husband’s family are in D3 – extreme drought! My Dad has struggled to keep his small garden limping along by watering every day. Since, as Pam stated, we Texans have dealt with drought for the past 10 years, I didn’t realize that my family were experiencing a drought this severe! We Texans are certainly grateful for the bounty of rain and lack of extreme high temps we’ve had this summer. I’m sending this link to my Dad, but I wish that I could send some rain too. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

layanee September 12, 2007, 7:36 pm

Water is an under appreciated resource! We had rain finally yesterday! Thanks for the link!

Annie in Austin September 12, 2007, 1:34 pm

Thanks for the link, Kathy – as Pam said, our area would have been painted a different color one year ago. This map is pretty scary.

We can only send hope and sympathy to the ones who are suffering without rain at this time.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Pam/Digging September 12, 2007, 8:27 am

I’ve read that for the first time in 10 years, Texas is drought-free. It’s ironic that we finally pulled out of the drought just when so many other parts of the South became afflicted.

Robin (Bumblebee) September 12, 2007, 8:21 am


I’m glad that you shared this. It’s fascinating to see how things have changed over the summer. I thought that our drought was exceptional, but nothing compared with parts of the South. I’m very grateful for some rains we had in August and again this week.

By the way, I have a whole new weather station that I’ll be unpacking and setting up this weekend. Our conversation a while back about weather geeks has, I think, turned me into one!

Robin (Bumblebee)