NCDC will transition to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This is coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.
- Based on the Palmer Drought Index,
severe to extreme drought affected about 14 percent of
the contiguous United States as of the end of September 2006, a
decrease of about 5 percent
compared to last month. By contrast, about 5 percent of the
contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet
- About 29 percent of the
contiguous U.S. fell in the
moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the
Palmer Drought Index) at the end of September.
- On a broad scale, the previous two decades (1980s and 1990s)
were characterized by unusual wetness with short periods of
extensive droughts, whereas the 1930s and 1950s were characterized
by prolonged periods of extensive droughts with little wetness
to extreme drought,
severe to extreme drought).
- A file containing the national monthly percent area severely
dry and wet from 1900 to present is available for the severe to extreme and moderate to extreme categories.
- Historical temperature, precipitation, and Palmer drought data
from 1895 to present for climate divisions, states, and regions in
the contiguous U.S. are available at the Climate Division:
Temperature-Precipitation-Drought Data page in files having
names that start with "drd964x" and ending with "txt" (without the
Detailed Drought Discussion
||By the end of September,
drought was concentrated in the northern Plains, Texas and
northeastern Minnesota. Conditions had improved in most of the
Southeast and in the Southwest (September 26 Drought
Monitor). In the primary drought areas, soil
moisture was low, evaporation
was high, vegetative
health was poor, and
streamflow was low.
Drought impacted many sectors of the economy. Crops were highly
stressed or dying, livestock was dying or prematurely sold because
of a lack of feed and water, and water restrictions were common in
many areas. Disaster conditions have been declared by the governors
of several states.
Texas ended its worst fire season, which began in January 2005,
but burning bans continue in 103 counties. In Nebraska, drought is
estimated to have cost the agricultural community $350 million. In
South Dakota honey production was low, and wheat production was
down 37 percent. Low flows in the Missouri River prematurely ended
the navigation season, which usually ends around the beginning of
December. A positive impact of drought was the improved rice crop
in north central and northeastern Minnesota. Impacts in
drought-stricken areas have been collected and summarized by county
at the National Drought Mitigation Center's
Drought Impact Reporter.
The September precipitation pattern at the primary stations in
was below average across the interior of the state; the coastal
stations were above average. In Hawaii
dryness continued throughout most the State. In Puerto
Rico the month was predominantly dry along the southern coast
(based on National
Weather Service radar estimates of precipitation).
Some regional highlights:
State/Regional/National Moisture Status
There is no September 2006 Paleoclimatic