Skip Navigation Links 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA home page National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS home page
Climate Prediction Center

   Drought Discussion
   U.S. Monthly Temp.
      & Prec.

   U.S. Seasonal Temp.
     & Prec.


Monitoring and Data
   GIS Data
   U.S. Weekly Drought       Monitor
   Soil Moisture

About Us
   Our Mission
   Who We Are

Contact Us
   CPC Information
   CPC Web Team

HOME > Expert Assessments > Drought Information > Monthly Drought Outlook
United States Monthly Drought Outlook Graphic - click on image to enlarge
(Click on image to enlarge)
PDF Version of Monthly Drought Outlook Graphic Adobe PDF Reader

Latest Monthly Assessment - The proportion of the United States in drought (as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor [DM]) is roughly half of what it was at the beginning of the 2023-24 Water Year (Oct 1, 2023). Over 32 percent of the Nation was in drought at that time, compared to about 15 percent on the most recent DM (valid April 23, 2024). That percentage has been relatively stable since the last Monthly Drought Outlook (MDO) release on March 31, 2024, but there have been significant changes in intensity and some changes in location since then. The last 4 weeks brought improvement to areas of drought in most of the Rockies and Intermountain West, the northern Plains, the northern half of the Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes Region, and western New York. Deterioration has been noted primarily from Kansas and northern Oklahoma eastward across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas and into areas immediately adjacent to the Mississippi/Ohio Rivers' confluence. The Pacific Northwest and portions of south-central and west-central Texas also saw some deterioration over the past month.

Looking ahead through the end of May 2024, heavy rainfall from the last week of April into the second week of May should bring drought improvement or removal to drought areas in the Great Plains, Mississippi Valley, and western Great Lakes region. Heavy rainfall early in the period is also expected to remove the remaining drought in northwestern Puerto Rico. In contrast, most drought areas from the High Plains westward to the Pacific Coast are expected to persist or intensify, except in a few patches across the highest elevations of Washington, western Montana, and northern Wyoming. Conditions in the drought areas covering portions of Deep South Texas and the southeastern half of Hawaii are also expected to persist or intensify. In addition, drought is expected to develop by the end of May across the central Florida Peninsula, where antecedent short-term moisture deficits exist and unusually hot and dry weather is anticipated for at least the first half of May. Drought development is also anticipated in some parts of Hawaii, southeastern Montana, the southern High Plains, and the southeastern Rockies adjacent to current drought areas.

Somewhat below-normal precipitation, including deficient snowpack, has been observed in southeasternmost Alaska for the past several months. Drought development is not anticipated by the end of May at this time, but the region will need to be monitored for signs of deterioration.

Forecaster: Rich Tinker

Next Monthly Drought Outlook issued: May 31, 2024 at 3:00 PM EDT

Monthly Drought Outlook Discussion


NOAA/ National Weather Service
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
Climate Prediction Center
National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction
5830 University Research Court
College Park, Maryland 20740
Page Author: Climate Prediction Center Internet Team
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities