Monterey County Farm Bureau

Drought Monitor

Pacific weather systems dropped locally 2 or more inches of rain across parts of central and northern California, and over local areas of the Great Basin and southern New Mexico. Half an inch or more of precipitation occurred over large parts of the interior West. Other parts, especially much of Washington, Oregon, northern Idaho to northwestern Montana, and southern California to parts of New Mexico, were dry this week. Groundwater continues low and many reservoirs were still very low to near record low. The water levels in most reservoirs in New Mexico are well below average. The August 2022 total combined end-of-month storage of 12 large reservoirs in the state ranked among the three smallest August totals since 1990. The precipitation that fell this week did little to make up deficits that have built up over the last 5 years, so little improvement was made on this week’s map over the areas that received precipitation. One exception was southern New Mexico and adjacent Arizona, where D1-D3 contracted in the wetter areas this week that have also benefited from a wet monsoon season. In northern parts of the West region, D0 was added to western Washington and northwest Oregon where streams were low, very warm temperatures increased evapotranspiration and continued to dry soils, and precipitation was below normal for the last 3 months. D1 expanded in northern Idaho where several indicators reflected the dry conditions of the last 3 months, and several dozen large wildfires continued to blaze. According to USDA statistics, all of the states in the region except California, Nevada, and Arizona had half or more of their topsoil moisture short or very short of moisture.

As a comparison, below is the Drought Monitor Map from the high-point of the four-year drought:

Updated 9/23/2022