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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012 U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the December 18, 2012 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 61.8% of the contiguous United States. This is down slightly from 61.9% last week. Exceptional drought rose from 6.5% to 6.6%.

The December 18 U.S. Drought Monitor value of 61.8% in moderate to exceptional drought is a decrease from the value of 62.7% at the end of November (November 27 U.S. Drought Monitor).

According to the Palmer Drought Index, which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, 56.4% of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate to extreme drought on December 18, a decrease of about 3% compared to the end of November.

The full U.S. Drought Monitor weekly update and a current summary of conditions are available at  

In addition to, you can find further information on the current drought at The National Drought Mitigation Center.

The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agriculture Outlook Board provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.