Drought Impacts Toolkit

Tools

Map-based tools track drought impacts: Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR), the Drought Impact Reporter, the Visual Drought Atlas, the Media Drought Index, Drought Tweets, and CoCoRaHS condition monitoring reports.

Drought Impact Reporter Dashboard

The Drought Impact Reporter Dashboard and the associated Archive display media-based drought impacts, which the National Drought Mitigation Center has been systematically collecting and recording since 2005. Our definition of a drought impact is “a loss or change at a specific place and time due to drought,” which encompasses a wide range.

Impacts by state and U.S. Drought Monitor status

The State Impacts tool sorts and displays impacts by state from the Drought Impact Reporter through 2021. Users can filter impacts by U.S. Drought Monitor status, season, weeks in drought, industry and date range. This may provide insight on what to expect when a state is experiencing a certain level of drought.

Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR)

Submit photos and report drought-related conditions and impacts within the U.S. This is a nation-wide service provided by the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska, in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System. Information submitted by this form appears on a map and becomes part of a permanent public record. Please note that this form is not part of the process to apply for assistance. To participate, you must legally be an adult, at least 18 years old in most states, 19 in Nebraska or Alabama, or 21 in Mississippi. By submitting information, you agree that it may be used in drought monitoring research. Questions? Please email DIRinfo@unl.edu.

Visual Drought Atlas

Submit landscape photos that help people see what your area looks like in dry, wet and normal conditions. To capture images from different times of year, when volunteers may have a little more time, we especially encourage submissions over President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day. The Visual Drought Atlas map includes the photo archive inherited from the original Field Days project that CoCoRaHS and SCIPP led, as well as photos contributed through the form that is online here or to NDMC’s CMOR reports (see below). Photos are mapped by USDM status, land use, and the same dry-to-wet scale that CoCoRaHS and CMOR reports use.

Media Drought Index

The Media Drought Index (MDI) compares the number of stories for each state in a week with the weekly number of stories for that state and month since 2011, and expresses the result as a standard deviation.

Drought Tweets

We search and map drought-related tweets each Monday as another way to understand how drought is affecting people. Tweets are placed on the map based on how users describe their location, so only tweets with sufficiently specific locations are used.

CoCoRaHS Condition Monitoring Reports

CoCoRaHS observers sign up through the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, measure record precipitation every day, and benefit from lively educational support. Some observers opt to submit additional condition monitoring observations in addition to precipitation records.

Drought Impacts Multi-Tool

The Drought Impacts Multi-Tool allows you to display layers from the Drought Impact Reporter, Condition Monitoring Observer Reports, CoCoRaHS, Drought News, and Drought Tweets, as well as the U.S. Drought Monitor and state and county boundaries. CMOR and CoCoRaHS, the default view, is a particularly relevant comparison.

Related Publications

Read more about the tools in the Drought Impacts Tools kit, including scholarly publications.