2020-21 Heat and Drought in North America

Record-breaking heat and long-term rain and snow shortfalls parched the western United States and Mexico.
Sierra Snowbank Short on Funds
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Sierra Snowbank Short on Funds

Mountain snow melted away nearly a month ahead of schedule, leaving reservoirs without their usual inflow of freshwater.

Published Jul 14, 2021

Image of the Day Land Drought Snow and Ice Temperature Extremes

California Reservoirs Reflect Deepening Drought
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California Reservoirs Reflect Deepening Drought

Precipitation totals and lake levels are among the worst they have been since the 1970s.

Published Jun 17, 2021

Image of the Day Water Drought Human Presence Temperature Extremes

Records Fall in Early Summer Heatwave
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Records Fall in Early Summer Heatwave

Extreme heat has descended on the southwestern United States, with several states enduring temperatures near and above record highs for June.

Published Jun 16, 2021

Image of the Day Heat Land Drought Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

Western Soils and Plants are Parched
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Western Soils and Plants are Parched

For the second year in a row, drought has overtaken much of the United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast.

Published Jun 11, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Drought Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

Widespread Drought in Mexico
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Widespread Drought in Mexico

Nearly 85 percent of Mexico is experiencing drought, and water sources are dwindling.

Published May 4, 2021

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Drought Conditions Continue in Spring 2021
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Drought Conditions Continue in Spring 2021

The western United States is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought, and it is expected to worsen in upcoming months.

Published Mar 31, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Drought Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

The Drying U.S. West
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The Drying U.S. West

A serious drought has flared up across half of the United States—a familiar story for the past two decades.

Published Dec 11, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Drought Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

California Heatwave Fits a Trend
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California Heatwave Fits a Trend

A new study shows heatwaves in Southern California have increased in frequency, duration, and intensity over recent decades.

Published Sep 10, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Drought Human Presence Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

Extreme Heat in Death Valley
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Extreme Heat in Death Valley

NASA’s ECOSTRESS instrument observed extreme early morning temperatures in the desert of California and Nevada.

Published Aug 20, 2020

Atmosphere Heat Land Water Drought Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

A Third of the U.S. Faces Drought
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A Third of the U.S. Faces Drought

The failure of the summer monsoon and other moisture carrying systems has parched more than 90 percent of some states.

Published Aug 13, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Drought Temperature Extremes