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New Mexico State University
NM Climate Center

Drought Classifications

Category Description Possible Impacts Palmer Drought Index CPC Soil Moisture Model (Percentiles) USGS Weekly Streamflow (Percentiles) Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) Objective Short and Long-term Drought Indicator Blends (Percentiles)
D0 Abnormally Dry Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits; pastures or crops not fully recovered. -1.0 to -1.9 21-30 21-30 -0.5 to -0.7 21-30
D1 Moderate Drought Some damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water-use restrictions requested. -2.0 to -2.9 11-20 11-20 -0.8 to -1.2 11-20
D2 Severe Drought Crop or pasture losses likely; water shortages common; water restrictions imposed. -3.0 to -3.9 6-10 6-10 -1.3 to -1.5 6-10
D3 Extreme Drought Major crop/pasture losses; widespread water shortages or restrictions. -4.0 to -4.9 3-5 3-5 -1.6 to -1.9 3-5
D4 Exceptional Drought Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies. -5.0 or less 0-2 0-2 -2.0 or less 0-2