Drought Monitor Map Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands


Current Drought Monitor Map for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

United States Drought Monitor

Puerto Rico

Summary for Puerto Rico this week

Heavy rain over the past week in northern and eastern Puerto Rico improved precipitation deficits and streamflow enough to end the moderate drought that had been going on, though abnormal short-term dryness remains in spots.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Summary for the U.S. Virgin Islands this week

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) have entered the traditional winter dry season, but almost daily showers have been observed in recent weeks. The latest drought-monitoring period (January 8-14) was no exception, as frequent showers continued to provide relief in the wake of a drier-than-normal autumn wet season.

On St. Croix, January 1-14 rainfall at Rohlsen Airport totaled 1.94 inches (187 percent of normal). Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) data indicated that short-term rainfall deficits have been eradicated, but longer-term impacts remain. For example, the USGS Adventure 28 well has begun to slightly respond, but the depth to water remains more than 4 feet lower than the beginning of 2019. Moderate drought (D1) persisted on St. Croix, but the designation was changed from “SL” to “L” to reflect long-term effects on groundwater.

Showery weather also continued across St. Thomas and St. John, where neither dryness nor drought was indicated. A CoCoRaHS observer near Anna’s Retreat on St. Thomas reported a month-to-date rainfall of 2.75 inches through daybreak on January 14. Meanwhile, a volunteer observer at Windswept Beach on St. John received a month-to-date total of 2.01 inches through sunset on January 13. USGS wells on both islands continued to respond to the winter rainfall.

About the Drought Classification

The Drought Monitor summary map identifies general areas of drought and labels them by intensity. D1 is the least intense level and D4 the most intense. Drought is defined as a moisture deficit bad enough to have social, environmental or economic effects.

D0 areas are not in drought, but are experiencing abnormally dry conditions that could turn into drought or are recovering from drought but are not yet back to normal.

We generally include a description on the map of what the primary physical effects are for short- and long-term drought.

  • S = Drought typically less than 6 months (e.g. agriculture and grasslands)
  • L = Drought typically more than 6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)

Learn more about the Drought Classification

Source: United States Drought Monitor

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.

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