U.S. Drought Monitor Update for February 4, 2014
According to the February 4, 2014 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 37.4% of the contiguous United States, an increase from last week’s 36.5%. The worst drought categories (extreme to exceptional drought) also increased slightly from 7.2% last week to 7.4%. The strong upper-level ridge over western North America broke down this week, allowing Pacific weather systems to move across the West, but they were not enough to erase deficits that have built up over months. Meanwhile, cold fronts brought areas of precipitation east of the Rockies, and recent rains improved drought conditions in eastern Hawaii.
In addition to Drought.gov, you can find further information on the current drought as well as on this week’s Drought Monitor update at the National Drought Mitigation Center. See their recent news releases.
The most recent U.S. Drought Outlook is available from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agriculture Outlook Board provides information about the drought’s influence on crops and livestock.