Drought - January 2007

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 8 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of January 2007, a decrease of about 3 percent compared to last month. By contrast, about 10 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
  • About 20 percent of the contiguous U.S. fell in the moderate to extreme drought categories (based on the Palmer Drought Index) at the end of January.
  • 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 January drought continued to be concentrated in Texas and Oklahoma, the northwestern Plains, northern Minnesota and Florida. Drought and abnormal dryness spread across the Southwest into northern California and Nevada (January 30 Drought Monitor). In the drought areas, soil moisture was low, vegetative health was fair, and streamflow was low.

Map showing Palmer Z Index

In north central Texas and in central Florida, mandatory or voluntary water restrictions were in place in several municipalities. Hungry horses in Alaska, Idaho and the Dakotas received help from the U.S. Humane Society, and hay shortages were noted in many states. Lack of forage affected elk migration patterns in Colorado and decreased the deer population in Wyoming. Continuing drought affected the 2007 wheat crop in northern Oklahoma. The panfish population in Georgia declined due to drought; substantial rains are needed for the fish to recover. A positive impact of drought occurred in Minnesota when a community saved money because spraying mosquitoes was not needed due to a lack of water sources in which mosquitoes lay eggs. 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 January 2007 Paleoclimatic Perspective

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Drought for January 2007, published online February 2007, retrieved on May 16, 2021 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/200701.