Drought - March 2019


Issued 12 April 2019
Contents Of This Report:
Map showing Palmer Z Index
Percent Area of U.S. in Moderate to Extreme Drought, Jan 1996 to present

Please note that the values presented in this report are based on preliminary data. They will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages.


National Drought Overview

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Detailed Drought Discussion


Overview


The U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid April 2, 2019
The U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid April 2, 2019.

The upper-level circulation during March was very active with numerous Pacific weather systems moving in the jet stream flow. The overall circulation pattern averaged for the month consisted of: (1) a ridge over Alaska and western Canada, with a trough over eastern Canada extending into the CONUS. This pattern set up a northerly flow which directed dry Canadian air masses into the U.S. east of the Rockies. And (2) slight ridging with above-normal upper-level height anomalies across the southern CONUS, which inhibited precipitation along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Pacific weather systems followed a track between the western Canada ridge and the southern CONUS, leaving a trail of above-normal precipitation from California to the central Plains, from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to Ohio Valley, and along the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The month was drier than normal on either side of this precipitation trail — in the Pacific Northwest and northern High Plains, across the southern Plains to Southeast, and in the Northeast. The western Canada ridge deflected weather system around the Alaska panhandle, which continued to dry out, and Hawaii saw a drier-than-normal month. Mountain snow pack improved in the West, especially along the storm track. Like the last couple months, the precipitation this month fell on many areas that were in drought, so drought contraction outweighed expansion. Drought and abnormal dryness contracted across much of the West and parts of the southern Plains, as well as Puerto Rico where western areas were wetter than normal. Abnormal dryness or drought expanded along the Gulf of Mexico Coast to southern Atlantic Coast, in other parts of the southern Plains, and western Washington. Dry conditions in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) also expanded drought there. As a result, the USDM-based national moderate-to-exceptional drought footprint across the CONUS contracted from 11.9 percent of the CONUS at the end of February to 5.7 percent of the CONUS at the end of March (from 10.7 percent to 5.4 percent for all of the U.S.). According to the Palmer Drought Index, which goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, about 4.1 percent of the CONUS was in moderate to extreme drought at the end of March, decreasing slightly from the end of February.

Percent area of the CONUS in moderate to exceptional drought, January 4, 2000 to present, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor

Percent area of the CONUS in moderate to exceptional drought, January 4, 2000 to present, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor.






Drought conditions at the end of the month, as depicted on the April 2nd, 2019 USDM map, included the following core drought and abnormally dry areas:



Palmer Drought Index


The Palmer drought indices measure the balance between moisture demand (evapotranspiration driven by temperature) and moisture supply (precipitation). The Palmer Z Index depicts moisture conditions for the current month, while the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) depict the current month's cumulative moisture conditions integrated over the last several months. While both the PDSI and PHDI indices show long-term moisture conditions, the PDSI depicts meteorological drought while the PHDI depicts hydrological drought. The PDSI map shows less severe and extensive drought (as well as wet spell conditions) in some parts of the country than the PHDI map because the meteorological conditions that produce drought and wet spell conditions are not as long-lasting as the hydrological impacts.

Palmer Z Index map Palmer Hydrological Drought Index map

Used together, the Palmer Z Index and PHDI maps show that short-term wet conditions occurred across much of the West that were in drought or recovering from drought at the end of February, continuing to shrink the long-term drought and expand areas that are now considered wet. Short-term dry conditions occurred from the Gulf of Mexico Coast to the Northeast, reducing previous areas of long-term wet spell conditions. Short-term dry conditions occurred in the Pacific Northwest, intensifying or expanding previous areas of long-term drought.



Standardized Precipitation Index


The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) measures moisture supply. The SPI maps here show the spatial extent of anomalously wet and dry areas at time scales ranging from 1 month to 24 months.

1-month Standardized Precipitation Index 2-month Standardized Precipitation Index 3-month Standardized Precipitation Index

6-month Standardized Precipitation Index

The SPI maps illustrate how moisture conditions have varied considerably through time and space over the last two years. Dry conditions occurred in the Pacific Northwest to northern High Plains at the 1-month time scale, and persisted across parts of the northern Rockies and coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest at the 2- to 12-month time scales, and again were widespread across the Pacific Northwest to northern High Plains at the 24-month time scale. The southern Plains to Southeast were dry at the 1- to 3-month time scales, while parts of the Southeast to Northeast were dry at the 1-month time scale. Wet conditions dominate from California to the Mid-Mississippi Valley at the 1-month time scale, extending to the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and Tennessee Valley at 2 months, and then to the Gulf and East Coasts by 6 months. The wet conditions in the West become neutral to dry at 24 months.


9-month Standardized Precipitation Index 12-month Standardized Precipitation Index 24-month Standardized Precipitation Index



Regional Discussion


Hawaii percent of normal precipitation map, March 2019
Hawaii percent of normal precipitation map, March 2019.

Hawaii:

March was drier than normal across the Hawaiian Islands. A Kona Low and its associated fronts that drenched the state in February gave Oahu, Molokai, and Maui wetter-than-normal conditions for the last 2 months, and Maui a wetter-than-normal last 3 months, but these periods were drier than normal for Kauai and the Big Island. Drier-than-normal conditions were widespread across the islands for the last 4 to 6 months, while wetter-than-normal conditions dominated at the 9- to 36-month time scales (precipitation anomaly maps for the last 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36 months). Streamflow was above normal at some stations and below normal at others (especially on Oahu). Drought and abnormal dryness contracted from the end of February to first week of March, but expanded since then, with severe drought developing on the April 2nd USDM map. Moderate to severe drought affected about 16 percent of the state, with abnormal dryness and drought affecting almost 97 percent.



Alaska climate division precipitation rank map, April 2018-March 2019
Alaska climate division precipitation rank map, April 2018-March 2019.

Alaska:

March was drier than normal across the southeastern portions of Alaska but wetter than normal to the north and west. This precipitation anomaly pattern has held for much of the last three years (low elevation station precipitation maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, and 36 months) (high elevation SNOTEL basin map for last 6 months) (gridded precipitation percentile maps for the last 1 and 3 months) (climate division precipitation maps for the last 1, 3, 6, 12 months) (Leaky Bucket model precipitation percentile map for March). Record dryness has occurred in the southern portions of the panhandle (climate division 12) for the last 12, 24, and 36 months. Temperatures during March were record warm across most of the state. Above-normal temperatures dominated for the last 12 months, with record warmth occurring in some areas throughout this time period (low elevation station temperature maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 months) (gridded temperature percentile maps for the last 1 and 3 months) (climate division temperature maps for the last 1, 3, 6, 12 months) (Leaky Bucket model temperature percentile map for March). Snow pack was below average in much of the south due mostly to the warmer-than-normal conditions, but also due to dryness in the southern panhandle. Streamflow (for those streams that weren't frozen over) was mostly near to above normal except for a one stream in the panhandle. Abnormally dry to severe drought conditions continued in the panhandle, with about 5.8 percent of the state was in abnormally dry to severe drought conditions on the April 2nd USDM map.



Puerto Rico percent of normal precipitation map, March 2019
Puerto Rico percent of normal precipitation map, March 2019.

Puerto Rico:

March 2019 was drier than normal in eastern portions of Puerto Rico and wetter than normal in the west and much of the northern and southern coastal areas. This pattern generally held for the last 2 to 3 months, with near- to drier-than-normal conditions widespread at 6 months. For the last 12 months, the pattern consisted of drier-than-normal conditions in the south and wetter than normal in the north. Wetter-than-normal conditions were evident at longer time scales (radar-based precipitation anomaly estimates for the last 1, 2, 3, 6, 12 months) (low elevation station precipitation maps for the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months). Soils continued dry across much of the island in the south and east, and some streams had below-normal flow. As seen on the April 2nd USDM map, moderate drought contracted to cover about a tenth (10.4%) of the island, with abnormal dryness to moderate drought extending across more than half (59.4%) of Puerto Rico.



CONUS State Precipitation Ranks:

Map showing March 2019 state precipitation ranks Montana statewide precipitation, March, 1895-2019

The storm track across the West to Midwest gave several states from California to Indiana wetter-than-normal precipitation ranks for March. But states to the north (Pacific Northwest), south (southern Plains to Southeast), and east (Northeast) had drier-than-normal precipitation ranks. Two states ranked in the top ten driest category and included Montana (second driest in the 1895-2019 record) and Washington (fourth driest). Four others (Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Hampshire) ranked eleventh to 13th driest in the 125-year record.

Map showing January-March 2019 state precipitation ranks Washington statewide precipitation, January-March, 1895-2019

Dry conditions for January-March across the southern Plains to Southeast, and parts of the Pacific Northwest, gave states in these areas dry precipitation ranks. Washington (tenth driest January-March) was the only state to rank in the top ten driest category.

Map showing October 2018-March 2019 state precipitation ranks Map showing April 2018-March 2019 state precipitation ranks

Wet conditions dominated at the longer time scales. Only Oregon and Washington ranked in the driest third of the historical record for October 2018-March 2019 and April 2018-March 2019.


Agricultural Belts


Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt precipitation, March, 1895-2019
Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt precipitation, March, 1895-2019.
Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt precipitation, October-March, 1895-2019
Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt precipitation, October-March, 1895-2019.

March 2019 was colder and wetter than normal across most of the Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat agricultural belt. The month ranked as the 22nd wettest and 37th coldest March, regionwide, in the 1895-2019 record.

October marks the beginning of the growing season for the Primary Hard Red Winter belt. October 2018-March 2019 was wetter than normal across the region and cooler than normal in the northern areas. The 6-month period ranked as the third wettest and 35th coolest October-March, regionwide.

Primary Corn and Soybean Belt precipitation, March, 1895-2019
Primary Corn and Soybean Belt precipitation, March, 1895-2019.
Primary Corn and Soybean Belt temperature, March, 1895-2019
Primary Corn and Soybean Belt temperature, March, 1895-2019.

March also marks the beginning of the growing season for the Primary Corn and Soybean agricultural belt. March 2019 was colder and wetter than normal across most of the region. The month ranked as the 49th wettest and 41st coldest March, regionwide, in the 1895-2019 record.


The prolonged wet conditions in the Plains and East eliminated drought in the corn and soybean producing areas several months ago, and recent precipitation has reduced drought in other agricultural areas. As of April 2nd, drought was affecting three percent of the nation's hay acreage, three percent of cattle inventory, and one percent of winter wheat production. But the dry conditions for the last three months in the southern High Plains and Gulf to southern Atlantic coasts have taken their toll on agriculture, especially in Texas and New Mexico. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as of March 31st, topsoil moisture was short to very short (dry to very dry) across 55 percent of New Mexico, 45 percent of Texas, 35 percent of Florida, 30 percent of South Carolina, and 27 percent of Georgia; and subsoil moisture was short to very short across 65 percent of New Mexico, 31 percent of Texas, 26 percent of Florida, 18 percent of South Carolina, and 15 percent of Georgia. For the nation as a whole, only 8 percent of topsoil and subsoil moisture was short to very short.


NOAA Regional Climate Centers:


A more detailed drought discussion, provided by the NOAA Regional Climate Centers and others, can be found below.


As summarized by the High Plains Regional Climate Center, the High Plains experienced precipitation extremes across the region during March, as some areas were excessively wet while others were very dry, while the cold pattern experienced throughout the region in February continued into March. A large area of wetness extended from Colorado northeast through southeastern Wyoming, Nebraska, and southeastern South Dakota. This region received approximately 150-300 percent of normal precipitation, which resulted in numerous locations ranking in the top 10 for wettest March on record. Meanwhile, dryness prevailed throughout northern and western North Dakota, with these areas receiving less than 25 percent of normal precipitation. Williston, North Dakota received only 0.01 inch (0 mm) of precipitation the entire month, tying 1966 for its driest March on record (period of record 1894-2019).

Several winter storms traversed the region, adding to the already impressive snowfall totals for the season. But portions of western Colorado missed out on plentiful snowfall. In fact, Grand Junction did not record any snow and tied multiple years for least snowiest March on record, despite having its 2nd wettest March (period of record 1893-2019). This can be attributed to temperature, as temperatures mostly remained above freezing throughout the month so that precipitation fell as rain instead of snow.

Thanks to a continuation of wet conditions in drought-stricken areas, drought conditions improved in several locations during March. According to the USDM, the area in the High Plains experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions (D0-D4) decreased from approximately 31 percent to 11 percent over the course of the month, while areas experiencing drought (D1-D4) decreased from 14 percent to only 2 percent. As of the end of March, severe drought (D2) and extreme drought (D3) conditions no longer existed in the region. Mountain snowpack in Colorado continued to build nicely during March, allowing for additional drought relief. The small area of D3 in the extreme southern part of the state, as well as the large area of D2 throughout southern and central Colorado were eliminated, and areas experiencing moderate drought (D1) and abnormally dry conditions (D0) were significantly reduced to include only southern areas of the state. Improvements were made in southern Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle as well. The major winter storm that crossed the region mid-month brought enough snowfall to alleviate drought and dryness in these areas. The only area that experienced a degradation in drought conditions during March was north-central Wyoming. This region missed out on several storm systems during the past few months, and March precipitation was less than 50 percent of normal, prompting the expansion of D0 into this area from the west.

As explained by the Southern Regional Climate Center, both precipitation values and temperatures were below normal across much of the Southern region. Parts of southern Mississippi, central and southern Louisiana, and eastern, central, southern, and western Texas received 50 percent or less of normal precipitation. Parts of central and southern Louisiana as well as south-central, southeastern, and extreme western Texas received 25 percent or less of normal precipitation. Parts of south-central and extreme western Texas received 5 percent or less of normal precipitation.

At the end of March, drought conditions both improved and degraded across parts of the Southern region. Severe drought classifications developed across southern Texas, the first appearance of severe drought in the region this year. Moderate drought classifications were still present in parts of southern and central Texas, with some new areas appearing in southern Texas. However, conditions improved to the point where moderate drought conditions were removed across northern and extreme western Texas as well as southwestern Oklahoma. There were no drought conditions in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. There was a slight decrease in the overall area experiencing abnormally dry conditions, as areas in northern and western Texas as well as western Oklahoma saw improvement. However, abnormally dry conditions developed across parts of eastern Texas, central and southern Louisiana, and southern Mississippi.

As described by the Midwest Regional Climate Center, March precipitation was above normal for the Midwest and temperatures were colder than normal across the entire region. The Midwest spent the entire month of March free of drought, and even abnormally dry conditions, according to the USDM. Prior to the stretch of no abnormally dry or drought conditions that began on February 26th, such conditions only occurred during two other weeks since the start of the USDM in January 2000. Soils in the Midwest were at or near saturation in many areas, particularly in Iowa, southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois.

As noted by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, although the winter season was very wet, precipitation across the Southeast was more than 3 inches below normal in many areas for March, with much of it falling at the tail end of the month. Temperatures were close to normal across the Southeast this March.

In mid-March, The Bermuda High shifted westward, thus forcing the storm track north of the region and allowing for temperatures to warm. This led to dry conditions across much of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and southeastern South Carolina. Monthly precipitation totals were 50 to less than 5 percent of normal in these areas.

Puerto Rico was around average for temperatures this month. It was dry in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Croix (1951-2019) measured 0.02 inches (0.51mm) of precipitation, ranking it the driest March on record but also tying for the second driest month of all.

Drier conditions during the month caused drought conditions to expand across the region in coverage. Abnormally dry (D0) conditions covered 27 percent of the Southeast, in an area stretching from extreme southeastern North Carolina through much of South Carolina, south central Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and portions of Florida. Moderate drought (D1) conditions covered about 3 percent of the region from the coastal South Carolina, through small sections of Georgia and a small part of southeastern Alabama. Drought conditions improved slightly for Puerto Rico with the month ending at 30 percent in moderate drought (D1) conditions and 87 percent in abnormally dry (D0) conditions and. The dry March was a welcomed relief for parts of the Southeast that have received much above normal precipitation this past winter.

As explained by the Northeast Regional Climate Center, March was a colder-than-normal month in the Northeast. After nine consecutive wetter-than-normal months (June 2018 through February 2019), the Northeast averaged out to be drier than normal. The region's 2.48 inches (63.0 mm) of precipitation was 71 percent of normal.

As summarized by the Western Regional Climate Center, several storms throughout March brought above normal precipitation in a broad swath extending form central California to western Colorado. Below normal precipitation persisted in the Pacific Northwest. The Southwest was generally drier than normal, with the exception of eastern Arizona and Northern New Mexico. Temperatures were below normal across the northern tier of the region, while temperatures in the southwest were slightly warmer than normal. At the end of the March, snowpack remained above normal in most large river basins (HUC-2) of the West.

Above normal precipitation seen in the winter months continued in March for California and the Intermountain West, supporting large areas of improvement in drought conditions. Only 9% of the West was experiencing moderate or worse drought conditions at the end of March, compared with 26% at the end of February. Large areas of improvement were also observed in Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Oregon and Washington saw some improvement; however, much of the region remained in abnormally dry or moderate drought continues. As of March 12, the entire state of California was drought-free, according to the USDM, for the first time in eight years.

Alaska observed well-above normal temperatures statewide. Precipitation was well below normal across South Central Alaska and above normal north of the Brooks Range. Further south, precipitation was well below normal across the state of Hawaii. Honolulu observed 0.08 in (2 mm) of precipitation and Hilo recorded 4.67 in (119 mm), 4% and 35% of normal, respectively. This was the 5th driest March at Honolulu since records began in 1940. Abnormally dry conditions expanded and/or intensified across the state. At the end of the month, 99% of the state was experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.

Pacific Islands: The NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) offices, the Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center (PEAC), and partners provided reports on conditions across the Pacific Islands.

In the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) (maps — Federated States of Micronesia [FSM], Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands [RMI], Republic of Palau, American Samoa, basinwide), March 2019 was drier than normal at Koror, Guam, Saipan, and Kwajalein, and near to wetter than normal at Yap, Chuuk, Lukonor, Kapingamarangi, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Majuro, and Pago Pago.

Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) precipitation kept rainfall amounts above the monthly minimum needed to meet most water needs (8 inches) in southern parts of the USAPI, but El Niño-like conditions kept northern and western portions dry. Monthly rainfall totals exceeded 8 inches at Chuuk, Lukonor, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi, Pohnpei, Mwoakilloa, Pingelap, Kosrae (FSM); Jaluit, and Mili (RMI). But the North Pacific subtropical ridge (North Pacific High) sent dry trade-winds across the northern and western regions, resulting in a dry month in terms of drought at the rest of the stations in Micronesia — Guam, Saipan, Rota (Marianas); Koror (Palau); Yap, Woleai, Fananu (FSM); and Ailinglapalap, Kwajalein, Majuro, Utirik, and Wotje (RMI). At these stations the March rainfall amounts were below the minimum thresholds (4 or 8 inches) required to meet most monthly water needs. It was a wet month (above the minimum thresholds) at Pago Pago in American Samoa, where the South Pacific Convergence Zone produced abundant rain. The 4- and 8-inch thresholds are important because, if monthly precipitation falls below the threshold, then water shortages or drought become a concern.



The USAPI U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid for the end of March 2019
The USAPI U.S. Drought Monitor drought map valid for the end of March 2019.

According to the end-of-March USDM produced for the USAPI, exceptional drought (D4) has developed at Utirik in the northern RMI; extreme drought (D3) was occurring at Wotje and Saipan; Kwajalein was experiencing severe drought (D2); moderate drought (D1) has spread into Koror, Yap, Woleai, Fananu, and Majuro; and it was abnormally dry (D0) at Lukonor and Jaluit. The reservoir storage at Majuro at the end of the month was 25.7 million gallons, which was only 71.4 percent of maximum capacity, well below the 80 percent threshold indicating concern. According to March 21 and April 4 Drought Information Statements issued by the National Weather Service office in Guam, El Niño-like and post-El Niño-like weather has reduced rainfall across parts of Micronesia during the past several months. Some grass fires have occurred in the Marianas, and impacts on vegetation and groundwater supplies are expected in parts of Micronesia if not already occurring. In the northern RMI, food sources are expected to shrink and eventually dry out, and health issues related to water problems have already been reported at Ebeye.

The dryness in parts of the RMI and the Marianas was significant. Only 0.08 inch of precipitation fell at Utirik in March, 0.30 inch in February, and 1.91 inches in January. That gives Utirik the driest March in 16 years of data, driest February-March in 15 years, and second driest January-March in 15 years of data. Wotje recorded only 0.30 inch in March, 1.18 inches in February, and 1.93 inches in January, resulting in the sixth driest March and eighth driest January-March in 36 years of data. Saipan had 0.53 inch of rain in March, 1.54 inches in February, and 1.76 inches in January. This resulted in the second driest March and third driest January-March in 38 years of data. Guam had the second driest March in 63 years of data with 0.78 inch of rain.

As measured by percent of normal precipitation, Koror, Kwajalein, and Saipan have been drier than normal in the short term (March and the last 3 months [January-March 2019]) but wetter than normal in the long term (last 12 months [April 2018-March 2019]) (the 12-month time period was missing for Koror). Kosrae and Yap were near to wetter than normal in the short term and near or drier than normal in the long term. Guam was drier than normal for March, but near to wetter than normal for the other two time periods. Majuro was drier than normal for the 3-month period but near to wetter than normal for the other two time periods. Lukonor was near normal for March but drier than normal for the other two time periods. Chuuk, Kapingamarangi, Pago Pago, and Pohnpei were wetter than normal at all three time periods. It should be noted that the monthly normal precipitation amount can vary significantly from month to month due to the strong seasonality of equatorial Pacific precipitation.


X
  • Percent of Normal Precip
  • Precipitation
  • Normals
Pacific Island Percent of 1981-2010 Normal Median Precipitation
Station Name Apr
2018
May
2018
Jun
2018
Jul
2018
Aug
2018
Sep
2018
Oct
2018
Nov
2018
Dec
2018
Jan
2019
Feb
2019
Mar
2019
Apr-
Mar
Chuuk45%124%143%107%96%158%93%142%76%183%122%175%114%
Guam NAS316%240%88%146%149%183%78%61%152%106%228%39%116%
Kapingamarangi127%92%67%142%67%128%158%223%93%195%44%197%112%
Koror113%92%66%87%N/A63%119%140%111%96%40%84%N/A
Kosrae105%136%74%106%159%65%34%58%49%93%98%143%80%
Kwajalein229%332%227%90%193%81%63%107%99%49%183%52%133%
Lukonor56%61%67%123%83%96%89%78%70%148%71%103%76%
Majuro189%216%151%142%102%94%67%69%112%93%74%102%115%
Pago Pago189%96%61%192%181%132%128%117%176%83%200%107%121%
Pohnpei102%85%92%130%166%93%100%74%100%134%79%143%105%
Saipan332%384%161%88%146%172%90%83%137%70%59%28%130%
Yap67%94%97%105%100%109%46%136%125%249%30%107%99%
Pacific Island Precipitation (Inches)
Station Name Apr
2018
May
2018
Jun
2018
Jul
2018
Aug
2018
Sep
2018
Oct
2018
Nov
2018
Dec
2018
Jan
2019
Feb
2019
Mar
2019
Apr-
Mar
Chuuk5.6014.0116.6712.7712.3318.5510.6615.028.5318.498.8714.56156.06
Guam NAS7.998.155.4214.8421.8923.178.874.517.754.246.900.81114.54
Kapingamarangi17.3911.089.1720.155.4712.6712.9820.719.1317.874.0622.56163.24
Koror8.2510.9111.6016.19N/A7.3714.1215.9212.379.793.456.24N/A
Kosrae18.4524.1610.7715.8322.609.193.708.097.9215.5812.6223.02171.93
Kwajalein12.0522.3315.758.8818.818.657.0512.126.581.544.821.22119.8
Lukonor6.287.147.8319.6611.709.7910.067.127.8912.416.339.58115.79
Majuro17.7921.8116.6215.8811.9610.468.539.2912.717.235.096.74144.11
Pago Pago17.769.263.2410.689.768.6011.8311.9022.5911.1024.0411.47152.23
Pohnpei18.8016.9113.5820.1123.6111.7015.3110.9716.1317.687.5718.84191.21
Saipan8.729.145.837.8819.1217.399.594.645.281.761.540.5391.42
Yap3.807.4111.6715.8114.8214.655.5612.0310.6815.901.574.88118.78
Pacific Island 1981-2010 Normal Median Precipitation (Inches)
Station Name Apr
2018
May
2018
Jun
2018
Jul
2018
Aug
2018
Sep
2018
Oct
2018
Nov
2018
Dec
2018
Jan
2019
Feb
2019
Mar
2019
Apr-
Mar
Chuuk12.4711.3011.6611.9812.8611.7111.5110.6111.2510.107.258.32136.77
Guam NAS2.533.406.1810.1414.7412.6611.447.385.114.013.032.0799.09
Kapingamarangi13.6412.0813.7814.158.139.938.199.279.849.159.2711.43145.85
Koror7.3211.8317.4818.5313.5011.7711.8411.3911.1610.188.567.44152.90
Kosrae17.5117.7514.6414.9114.2214.2210.9413.8316.1116.6712.9316.06213.87
Kwajalein5.266.726.939.879.7410.7411.1811.286.663.162.642.3590.41
Lukonor11.3111.6911.6515.9314.0410.1511.329.0811.278.418.939.26151.36
Majuro9.4210.1111.0111.1711.6911.1712.7313.4411.397.746.886.58125.25
Pago Pago9.399.665.335.555.386.539.2610.1412.8413.3412.0010.68125.57
Pohnpei18.4119.9614.8115.4314.2612.5515.2714.8316.0813.189.5513.17182.36
Saipan2.632.383.628.9113.1310.0910.625.613.852.532.591.8970.25
Yap5.637.8512.0415.0814.8213.5012.188.838.516.395.194.56120.31

The following analysis of historical data for the USAPI stations in the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily (GHCN-D) dataset, augmented with fill-in data from the 1981-2010 Normals, helps put the current data into historical perspective by computing ranks based on the period of record. The table below lists the precipitation ranks for March 2019, October 2018-March 2019 (the last 6 months), and April 2018-March 2019 (the last 12 months). Some stations have a long period of record and their dataset is fairly complete, while other stations have a shorter period of record and the dataset has some missing data.

Rank, Number of Years with data, and Period of Record for USAPI stations for March 2019, October 2018-March 2019, and April 2018-March 2019.
Rank of 1 = driest.
Station Mar 2018
Rank
Mar
No. of Years
Oct 2018- Mar 2019
Rank
Oct- Mar
No. of Years
Apr 2018- Mar 2019
Rank
Apr- Mar
No. of Years
Period of Record
Jaluit 19 36 2 34 MSG 33 1981-2019
Koror 26 68 30 68 MSG 66 1951-2019
Woleai 16 37 6 31 10 23 1968-2019
Yap 33 68 35 68 30 67 1951-2019
Majuro 28 65 12 65 47 64 1954-2019
Mili 32 36 22 33 MSG 31 1981-2019
Ailinglapalap 19 36 14 34 7 33 1981-2019
Pingelap 18 35 MSG 33 MSG 31 1981-2019
Kosrae 35 49 5 36 6 31 1954-2019
Lukonor 21 35 10 33 3 22 1981-2019
Saipan 2 38 5 30 29 30 1981-2019
Pohnpei 53 68 38 68 40 67 1951-2019
Kwajalein 15 67 12 67 58 66 1952-2019
Kapingamarangi 27 29 19 21 11 14 1962-2019
Chuuk 57 68 56 68 52 67 1951-2019
Guam 2 63 13 62 52 62 1957-2019
Nukuoro 19 36 16 34 4 33 1981-2019
Pago Pago 33 53 44 53 46 53 1966-2019
Wotje 6 36 12 33 MSG 32 1981-2019
Utirik 1 16 2 8 4 4 1985-2019

Precipitation amount for current month for U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island stations

Percent of normal precipitation for current month for U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island stations

Percent of normal precipitation for last 3 months for U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island stations

Percent of normal precipitation for last 12 months for U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island stations

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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.):

States
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

Regional
northeast u. s. east north central u. s. central u. s.
southeast u. s. west north central u. s. south u. s.
southwest u. s. northwest u. s. west u. s.

National
Contiguous United States

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Contacts & Questions
For additional, or more localized, drought information, please visit:

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Drought for March 2019, published online April 2019, retrieved on May 20, 2019 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/201903.

Metadata