Unit 7: Drought

Drought conditions come from warm or even hot stretches of temperatures along with a dry pattern. Many times, drought conditions from previous seasons can also carry into an area’s drought for the year. For example, drought conditions in western Iowa in 2020 carried over into 2021.

Drought conditions are classified into different categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought, and exceptional drought. Once you get to severe levels and above crop losses become likely, water shortages may be common, and eventually water restrictions. Exceptional drought conditions can then cause water emergencies.

Drought conditions can also lead to elevated fire risks because of how dry the ground is. A simple cigarette bud or spark could light up a dry field very quickly with a little wind.