Current Drought Map

Current Drought Conditions & Data (Regions Experiencing Drought)

Short-Term Drought Indicator

Long-Term Drought Indicator

Drought forces farmers to make critical choices on both short and long-term scales. In the face of short-term drought, a farmer might need to switch to drought-tolerant crops or varieties with shorter growing seasons. They’ll need to meticulously manage irrigation, balancing immediate water needs against conserving limited supplies for the rest of the growing season. Decisions surrounding livestock might necessitate herd reduction, searching for alternative feed supplies, or making difficult choices about premature selling. In these situations, staying up-to-date on fluctuating market prices for crops and livestock becomes essential due to the impact drought can have on prices and supply chains.

Long-term drought demands a broader perspective. Investing in water-efficient irrigation systems offers resilience in the face of extended dryness. Changing crop rotations to include drought-resistant species or diversifying crops overall spreads risks, ensuring some level of production even in dry years. Soil conservation practices like no-till or cover cropping improve soil’s water-holding ability, reducing vulnerability to prolonged drought. Expanding on-farm water storage by creating ponds or reservoirs builds a buffer for dry years. Over the long term, switching to livestock breeds or crop varieties genetically adapted for drought tolerance prepares the farm to handle arid conditions.

Understanding how drought impacts decision-making requires certain key considerations. Drought monitoring tools and maps are crucial for informed and timely responses. Each farm needs to assess its specific vulnerabilities (soil type, water sources, etc.) to prioritize the most effective strategies. Proactive financial planning, along with exploring crop insurance options, helps mitigate the financial blow of drought events. Finally, staying informed about government programs and support mechanisms designed specifically for drought relief can be a lifeline during difficult years.

Long Loop of Drought Monitor Maps (5 Years)

New data will be added in the coming weeks.  To kick things off, I have created a very cool 5-year Drought Monitor loop. The animation is fast, so you may want to watch it a few times.  The trends in drought migration are interesting. The long loop above contains 257 images – one for each week between January 4, 2011 (first image) and December 1, 2015 (final image).

 View the animated gif (takes longer to load on a slow connection).

Past Data from Drought in North Texas

In North Texas, the drought ended in June 2015 after the historic rainfall during the month of May 2015.  In the months that followed, a prolonged dry pattern developed resulting in the return of drought conditions.  However, record rainfall once again drenched North Texas in October and again in November, ultimately bringing the drought to an end for the second time in 6 months.  In California, the drought is holding strong.

Related Posts:

➡︎ Updated Weekly