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Monthly U.S. drought severity 2017-2020

As of January 2020, the United States saw wet conditions on average across the country, with a score of 4.3 on the Palmer Index. However, some regions were affected by lack of precipitation that year, including the Southeast in September, which saw extreme drought conditions. Widespread drought in 2018 was particularly severe for some regions of the country and is associated with the destructive wildfire season.

Monthly drought severity (Palmer Drought Severity Index) in the United States from January 2017 to January 2020*

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

January 2017 to January 2020

Supplementary notes

* The Palmer Drought Severity Index uses temperature and precipitation data to estimate 'relative' dryness. The index ranges from -10 (very dry) to +10 (very wet).

To access data, select Parameter: Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDS) and Time Scale: All Months.

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Statistics on "Weather in the United States"

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