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 8 percent of
the contiguous United States as of the end of February 2007, about
the same as last month. By
contrast, about 7 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the
severely to extremely wet
- About 22 percent of the
contiguous U.S. fell in the
moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the
Palmer Drought Index) at the end of February .
- 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
|At the end of February
extreme hydrologic drought was concentrated in Texas, Wyoming, and
northern Minnesota. Drought and abnormal dryness covered a broad
swath from central and southern California through the northwestern
Plains into the upper Midwest (February 27
Drought Monitor). Drought and abnormal dryness continued in
Florida and increased in the central and southern Appalachians. In
southern California and the upper Midwest, soil
moisture was low. Vegetative
health had become more stressed in the West. Streamflow
was low in the East, especially in Tennessee, in parts of the
Plains, and in Wyoming.
||In Texas and Florida
mandatory or voluntary water restrictions were in place in several
municipalities. Private water wells were becoming dry in Texas.
Burning bans were common in drought-stricken areas, and wildfires
reduced forage in western Nebraska and increased in number in
Florida. The hay supply in the central part of the country was 20
percent of average, leading to increased prices and abnormal
selling of livestock at auctions. The killing of livestock and pets
by wild animals in southcentral Texas increased as the wildlife
searched for new food and water sources during the continuing
drought. Dryness has increased the salinity of Virginia's James
River and the Chesapeake Bay permitting the growth of parasites
that are harmful to oysters; in some areas the oyster death rate
was 90 percent. Impacts in drought-stricken areas have been
collected and summarized by county at the National Drought
Drought Impact Reporter.
State/Regional/National Moisture Status
There is no Febuary 2007 Paleoclimatic