Drought - November 2006

Contents Of This Report:
Map showing Palmer Z Index

Top of Page National Overview

  • Based on the Palmer Drought Index, severe to extreme drought affected about 12 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of November 2006, an increase of about 1 percent compared to last month. By contrast, about 11 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
  • About 23 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of November .
  • 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 (moderate 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 quotes).

Top of Page Detailed Drought Discussion

At the end of November drought was concentrated in Texas, Oklahoma and northern Minnesota. Hydrologic drought continued in the central and northern Plains, Wyoming and Arizona. Except in Florida, conditions improved in the Southeast. In Florida dryness has increased in the eastern, and especially the northeastern, part of the state (November 28 Drought Monitor). In the drought areas, soil moisture was low, vegetative health was fair to poor, and streamflow was low.

Map showing Palmer Z Index

Mandatory or voluntary water restrictions were placed in effect in parts of Florida, Texas, Oklahoma as lake and reservoir levels dropped and other municipal water supplies were reduced. River transportation was severely curtailed because of low levels of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries. Agricultural impacts of drought include farmers being driven out of business and hay shortages in Wyoming, and low crop yields in Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri and Alabama. Wildlife population declines were noted in Arizona, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and salt water intrusion into Florida fresh water streams and lakes threatened fresh water plants and animals. Burning bans were declared in Florida and Texas as dry weather increased the potential for wildfires. The extended drought in Oklahoma, coupled with hot temperatures, led to a high number of cases of West Nile virus. Impacts in drought-stricken areas have been collected and summarized by county at the National Drought Mitigation Center's Drought Impact Reporter.

Top of Page State/Regional/National Moisture Status

A detailed review of drought and moisture conditions is available for all contiguous U.S. states, the nine standard regions, and the nation (contiguous U.S.):

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Northeast Region East North Central Region Central Region
Southeast Region West North Central Region South Region
Southwest Region Northwest Region West Region
Map showing the nine U.S. standard regions
Contiguous U.S.

Top of Page Pre-Instrumental Perspective

There is no November 2006 Paleoclimatic Perspective

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Drought for November 2006, published online December 2006, retrieved on January 20, 2018 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/200611.