National Climate Report - Annual 2014
2014 Drought Changes
While the national drought footprint did not change much in 2014, some regional improvement and degradation did occur. At the beginning of 2014, 31% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing some type of drought (D1-D4). Beneficial precipitation improved drought conditions in the Central Plains into parts of the Midwest, areas around the northern and southern Rockies, and along the Northeast coastline. Persistent drought conditions continued in California despite a positive start to the wet season. Drought also worsened in the Southern Plains. By the end of 2014, 29% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought. In Hawaii, heavy spring rainfall alleviated all severe drought conditions for the first time since June 2008.
The map below shows the improvement and worsening of drought conditions when comparing the U.S. Drought Monitor map from December 31st, 2013 to the U.S. Drought Monitor map from December 30th, 2014.