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National Drought Mitigation Center

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U.S. Drought Monitor feature provides emailed alerts about county-level drought designations

December 9, 2021

The Drought Alert Request provides county-level email alerts when drought conditions reach or recede from a specific drought designation.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor publishes on Thursday mornings at droughtmonitor.unl.edu, where users can find the weekly nationwide snapshot of drought conditions, along with a set of maps, data and tools that give key context about conditions where they live. Now you can also have the latest local information delivered to your inbox.  

The National Drought Mitigation Center offers county-level email alerts when drought conditions reach or recede from a specific drought designation – moderate drought (D1) to exceptional drought (D4). The feature is called the Drought Alert Request

The product was developed in 2021 as part of the Drought Center’s cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is one of several efforts to increase accessibility of U.S. Drought Monitor information for users across the U.S. and its territories. Other efforts have included the development of tribal area maps, state-level drought impact tables and Spanish-language editions of the Drought Monitor. 

At the Drought Alert Request site (available here), users select the county where they live, or any county of interest to them in the 50 states. Then they select a degree of drought for which they want to receive an email alert. Selecting, for example, extreme drought (D3) conditions in Maricopa County, Arizona, would result in an email being sent if current conditions reached D3 in Maricopa County, and then again if conditions improved that led a drought monitor author to remove D3 conditions from Maricopa County. The automated emails are tied to the weekly release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, and are sent out Thursdays at 8 a.m. Central time.