About the Drought Dataset

This map displays current and historical drought intensity categories for the entire USA. These data have been produced weekly since January 4, 2000 by the U.S. Drought Monitor and the full time series is archived here. Drought intensity is classified according to the deviation of precipitation, stream flow, and soil moisture content from historically established norms, in addition to subjective observations and reported impacts from more than 350 partners across the country. New map data is released every Thursday to reflect the conditions of the previous week.

Drought occurs when a region has an imbalance between water supply and water demand over an extended period of time. Droughts can have significant environmental, economic, and social consequences. Between 1980 and the present time, the cost of drought exceeded 100 billion dollars, making drought monitoring a key factor in planning, preparedness, and mitigation efforts at all levels of government. 

ESRI provides this data and updates it weekly, and we included a map of US Native Lands so it could be used by tribes for Natural Resources Planning.