National Climate Report - December 2013
2013 Drought Improvement
At the beginning of 2013, over 61 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought conditions. The drought was partially due to a very warm and dry 2012. During 2013 beneficial precipitation improved drought conditions across parts of the Intermountain West, the Plains, and the Southeast. Dryness in the West and Northeast led to the development and intensification of drought in those locations. By the end of 2013, the contiguous U.S. drought footprint shrank to 31 percent of the nation. The national drought footprint was nearly halved during 2013.
The map below shows the improvement and worsening of drought conditions when comparing the U.S. Drought Monitor map from January 1st, 2013 to the U.S. Drought Monitor map from December 31st, 2013.