Drought

Drought-ridden landscape

Data on drought duration and severity in the United States can be used to better understand the connection between drought, other environmental conditions, and health effects. Although many factors influence how drought will affect a community, drought trend data and other related indicators can be used to prepare for and prevent potential health risks.

We Track That

The Tracking Network includes data on drought duration and severity from the United States Drought Monitorexternal icon (USDM) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Indexexternal icon (SPEI) to track drought trends in the United States. Although many factors influence how drought will affect a community, drought trend data and other related indicators can be used to prepare for and prevent potential health risks.

Types of Data

Understanding drought trends is important for public health professionals, water and sanitation officials, and policy makers for community planning purposes, allocating drought relief, and for other drought discussions.

Drought Duration and Severity – Monthly
This indicator uses SPEI data and shows the number of months of mild or worse drought per year and the maximum number of consecutive months of mild or worse drought. Data are available for all counties in the United States.

Drought Duration and Severity – Weekly
This indicator uses the USDM data and shows the number of weeks of moderate or worse drought per year and the maximum number of consecutive weeks of moderate or worse drought. Data are available for all counties in the United States. The USDM provides a consistent big-picture look at drought conditions in the United States; it is not recommended for inferring specifics about the vulnerability of local populations to drought.

In addition to viewing data through the Data Explorer, you can access complete datasets of county-level drought data from the Downloadable Datasets page.

Data Highlight
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Data in Action

Understanding drought trends is important for public health professionals, water and sanitation officials, and policy makers for community planning purposes, allocating drought relief, and for other drought discussions.

Learn More

Explore Drought Data
Data Explorer
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Quick Reports
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View data in simple charts

API
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Access machine-readable data

Page last reviewed: October 21, 2020