Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the U.S. Drought Monitor?

It’s a weekly map showing the location and intensity of drought in the United States. Maps come out on Thursday morning, based on data through the preceding Tuesday morning. It’s not a forecast; it’s an assessment of past conditions, although because drought is slow-moving, it’s often safe to assume that an area in drought one week will still be in drought the next week. It’s not based on a statistical model. It’s based on many indicators and observations, not just precipitation. Once in a while maps come out on Wednesday, if Thursday is a federal holiday.


Who produces the U.S. Drought Monitor?

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a joint collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Authors from the partner agencies take turns assembling the map and accompanying narrative summary each week. The author edits the map based on several climate products, and on feedback from an expert observer network.

The map production process occurs at the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This consists of creating the various maps, statistics, GIS data and other products that are distributed each week.


Can I use the U.S. Drought Monitor map on my website?

Yes, and please credit us: The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.


Who can I contact if I think that the map doesn’t accurately reflect conditions in my area?

Email your observations to droughtmonitor@unl.edu, and we can help put you in touch with the observer network for your location.