In response to the record-breaking drought, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) joined federal, state, tribal and local partners in hosting a drought webinar specifically for western communities on July 20th. The webinar, which now has a summary and recording available, provided the latest information on drought conditions and federal response efforts.
The webinar included a summary of past and current conditions, looking at a variety of drought indicators such as snowpack, temperatures, precipitation, and soil moisture. It featured remarks by senior-level officials from NOAA, DOI and USDA, as well as stakeholders, decision makers, and drought experts. Potential and ongoing impacts from drought were considered across communities and sectors and federal officials spoke to government response and relief efforts, with the goal of supporting communities impacted by the ongoing drought.
Almost 90% of the West is in drought with 25% in Exceptional (D4) Drought, the highest level, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, both setting Drought Monitor records. With widespread impacts ravaging communities and the economy, there is a critical need for the latest information on drought conditions across the Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest and the Missouri River Basin.