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Date: 9/13/2016

Title: Drought Update- Western States

As we head into the second half of September, let’s take a look at where we are in regards to drought conditions across the western states as we enter the official start of fall in the coming ten days.

The graphic below shows drought conditions across the USA as of September 6th. As you can see, some areas have recently developed abnormally dry conditions (yellow shading) in the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. Severe drought conditions persist in California and moderate drought conditions in Nevada and portions of Nevada and Arizona. There are also “dry pockets” which persist over portions of northern Wyoming and southern Montana.  The white shaded areas reflect near normal soil moisture conditions. 

However, if you compare current drought conditions from a year ago and compare to where we are now, conditions have improved over the past year, while some areas have slipped some.

The Pacific Northwest and northern areas of California, Nevada and Idaho have done better while northern Wyoming and southern Montana have developed into a relatively small regional drought area. A few other pockets of dryness have developed in southern Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona. However, conditions in many areas of the west are in better shape than a year ago at this time.