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HomeNewsLocal newsDespite Recent Rain, Drought Conditions Expected to Continue

Despite Recent Rain, Drought Conditions Expected to Continue

Although the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have recently experienced precipitation, the drought conditions across both territories remain relatively unchanged. An update regarding the drought conditions was released on Friday and describes the current situation and predictions about drought conditions over the next few months.     

“Drought conditions changed little across Puerto Rico in the past two months, and drought remains and continues to fluctuate in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” according to an update on Aug. 25 from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). “The upcoming wet months and tropical season are expected to improve drought conditions.” 

Drought monitor graphic showing the USVI and Puerto Rico. (Photo courtesy of Drought.gov update.)

Compared to the previous drought information update on June 6, there has been some improvement across portions of Puerto Rico. However, more precipitation is needed, particularly across much of the USVI, to reduce the drought’s severity.  

The NIDIS update described the following details about both territories:   

Puerto Rico: Around 9 percent of Puerto Rico is currently considered dry or in drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with nearly 7 percent categorized as Moderate Drought (D1) and nearly 2 percent categorized as Severe Drought (D2).   

U.S. Virgin Islands: According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Moderate Drought (D1) is observed across Saint John, and Extreme Drought (D3) across both St. Thomas and St. Croix.   

With the height of hurricane season right around the corner, additional precipitation is expected. Depending on the amount of rain that may fall, the severity of drought conditions could potentially be reduced over the next few months, according to the NIDIS. Across both territories, more rain would be welcomed by many farmers across both territories who have experienced adverse consequences with livestock and crop and egg production due to lack of adequate rainfall.    

Photo of dry vegetation on a coffee production farm on Puerto Rico due to drought conditions. (Photo and caption courtesy of Drought.gov PR/USVI update.)

Additionally, hot weather and dry environments can increase the risk of wildfires. It is vital to be prepared in the event of a wildfire, and information is available here.   

Tracking Drought Conditions  

Residents within the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico can stay updated on the latest information regarding drought conditions on the National Integrated Drought Information System website.  

Weather information will also continually be updated on the Source Weather Page. USVI residents and visitors can also sign up for emergency alerts from the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.

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