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U.S. Drought Monitor Update for January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor Map

According to the January 5, 2016, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 18.4% of the contiguous United States, a slight decrease from last week’s 18.7%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also decreased from 6.3% last week to 5.2%.

A large low pressure trough kept temperatures cooler than normal in the West, while a high pressure ridge kept temperatures above normal in the East. Cold fronts and low pressure systems brought precipitation to parts of the South, East, Midwest, and coastal West, reducing drought in some areas. It was drier than normal across most of the rest of the country, with drought expanding in the Big Horn region of Wyoming and Montana.

The full U.S. Drought Monitor weekly update is available from www.drought.gov.

In addition to Drought.gov, you can find further information on the current drought as well as on this week’s Drought Monitor update at the National Drought Mitigation Center. See their recent news releases.

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.