Fact Sheets | National Drought Mitigation Center
National Drought Mitigation Center

Fact Sheets

NDMC Organizational


NDMC – Overview (2022)

The NDMC Overview provides a glance at the mission and activities of the National Drought Mitigation Center with more information about, and links to, the range of drought monitoring and planning support tools produced by the NDMC.

NDMC – By the Numbers

By the Numbers highlights the reach and network of the NDMC, with data on Center staff and partners, NDMC’s presence on the web and in the media, the number of active projects and more. Numbers are current through 2021. This factsheet is updated annually.

NDMC – Where We Worked

Where We Worked summarizes where the NDMC had active projects t, highlighting both ongoing work in the U.S. and international activities, including partnerships with international organizations like the United Nations. This factsheet is updated annually.

U.S. Drought Monitor


What is the USDM

This factsheet answers Frequently Asked Questions about the U.S. Drought Monitor, NDMC’s weekly map of drought conditions, including who uses it, how the map is made each week and how to get involved in the development process. It’s also available in a trifold format that works best for professional printing and folding. Also available in Spanish.

Five Facts about the USDM

5 Facts provides an overview of the U.S. Drought Monitor, the NDMC’s weekly map of drought coverage and severity, and addresses the most common questions about the Drought Monitor. This two-page factsheet includes information on how the Drought Monitor is developed and used and how people can get involved in the process.

Drought Severity and Coverage Index

The Drought Severity and Coverage Index summarizes the U.S. Drought Monitor status each week for any given area by condensing five statistics into one simplified value. This factsheet overviews what the DSCI is, how it’s computed and how it can be used.

Drought Information Services for U.S. Agriculture

The NDMC works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide drought information services to agricultural producers, climate service providers and resource managers. This report, updated annually, outlines the various products, projects and outcomes of collaboration between the USDA and the NDMC, including enhancements to the U.S. Drought Monitor, new agricultural economics research and improved communications tools.

Disaster Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses the U.S. Drought Monitor, NDMC’s weekly map of drought conditions, as a trigger for several assistance programs for agricultural producers. This factsheet lists these programs, providing an overview and links to each and some information on eligibility requirements.

USDM Network

To create the U.S. Drought Monitor map, the NDMC relies on a network of more than 400 experts from across the country. This factsheet provides an overview of this network based on a survey of members, including information on where networks members work, how long they have been involved and what role they play in creating the Drought Monitor map each week.

Who Uses the USDM

The U.S. Drought Monitor is the NDMC’s weekly map of drought conditions across the U.S. This factsheet lists the various individuals, decision-makers and organizations that rely on the Drought Monitor, providing context on how, why and when they use Drought Monitor data.

Other Tools


Grassland Productivity Forecast

The Grassland Productivity Forecast (Grass-Cast) is a tool that combines current weather conditions, seasonal climate outlooks and vegetation data to predict grassland productivity in the Great Plains for the upcoming growing season. This factsheet provides more information on Grass-Cast and how it can aid resource managers and producers.

Condition Monitoring Observer Reports

The NDMC’s Condition Monitoring Observer Report system provides a database of geolocated photos and reports of on-the-ground drought conditions for authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor and the public. This factsheet provides background information and a user guide for submitting a report through CMOR. Also available in Spanish.

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch is the NDMC’s set of resources for agricultural producers confronting drought. It includes a planning guidebook for ranchers, case studies of drought plans and links to useful drought monitoring tools. This factsheet provides more information about available NDMC resources and best practices for drought planning.

Visual Drought Atlas

The Visual Drought Atlas is NDMC’s database of landscape photos to help capture how landscapes change over time and how they compare in wet, normal and dry conditions. This factsheet provides information on the Atlas and a guide for submitting photos to the database.

Vegetation Drought Response Index

The Vegetation Drought Response Index (VegDRI) is a drought monitoring indicator that combines climate and satellite-derived data to map vegetation stress caused by drought. This two-page factsheet provides an overview of the tool, including a list of available VegDRI products and background on the VegDRI methodology and inputs.

Quick Drought Response Index

The Quick Drought Response Index (QuickDRI) is a short-term indicator of dryness, developed using satellite and model-based observations of precipitation, soil moisture and other data. This two-page factsheet provides more information about QuickDRI, including ways to use and apply the tool and the motivations behind creating it.

Drought Risk Atlas

The Drought Risk Atlas provides pre-generated drought data from more than 4,000 long-term, continuous weather stations across the U.S. This factsheet explains ways to use the Atlas and provides information on the methodology behind the database.

Decision calendars

Decision calendars reflect the production decisions farmers must make during drought, illustrating the drought concerns, phenology and likely outcomes for each month of the year for four different crops. Available for Midwest apples, Midwest grapes, Wisconsin irrigated potatoes and Wisconsin cranberries.