The first day of summer in the United States is Sunday, June 20 and many people from coast to
coast are already questioning the possibility of a drought in their area as the season progresses.
According to NASA’s website, “Almost half of the United States is currently experiencing some
level of drought, and it is expected to worsen in upcoming months.”
Much of the problem centers around the western United States, predominantly California and
Nevada which saw two back-to-back dry winters causing some of the worst drought conditions
in the region in over 30 years.
According to Brad Pugh, a meteorologist with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, it’s important
to “remain aware of the current drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor,” so you
know the severity and restrictions in your area.
Since the year 2000, the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) has been updated weekly – by location –
providing the intensity of drought conditions across the country.
According to Drought.gov, “Each week, drought experts consider how recent precipitation totals
across the country compared to their long-term averages. They check variables including
temperatures, soil moisture, water levels in streams and lakes, snow cover, and meltwater
runoff. Experts also check whether areas are showing drought impacts such as water shortages
and business interruptions. Based on dozens of indicators, experts make their best judgments of
regional-scale drought conditions, and then check their assessments with experts in the field
before publishing weekly drought maps.”
The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies drought conditions based on the following scale:
● D0 (Abnormally Dry)
● D1 (Moderate Drought)
● D2 (Severe Drought)
● D3 (Extreme Drought)
● D4 (Exceptional Drought)
For our valued SavATree customers, we’ve compiled that information by service zone below so
you can gain an understanding of the conditions in your area.
● Zone 1 – None to D0 (NY, PA & VA)
● Zone 2 – D0 (Cape Cod)
● Zone 3 – None to D0 and D1 (Southern FL)
● Zone 4 – D1 in MI, WI, IL & MN
● Zone 5 – D3 to D4 in UT & Western, CO
● Zone 6 – D3 to D4 in Western and Southern AZ
● Zone 7 – D1 to D4 in CA
It’s important that residents across the country take steps to limit and protect our nation’s
water supplies and many only require some minor changes. One of the main culprits for
homeowners during the summer months is often their lawn. Here are some helpful tips to help
limit water usage while still maintaining a beautiful, healthy lawn.
● Don’t overwater. Lawns typically need water every five to seven days come the summer
(depending on region). Remember, heavy rainfall could hydrate your lawn for up to two
weeks so be sure to turn off your automatic sprinklers to avoid wasting water.
● Inspect sprinkler heads and make sure they are working properly and not watering
sidewalks and driveways.
● If using manual sprinklers, set a timer to remind yourself to turn it off. A garden hose can
pour out 600 gallons of water in only a few hours.
● Don’t cut your grass too short. Raising the blade to its highest level encourages grass
roots to grow deeper while providing shade to reduce evaporation.
Throughout the summer, keep an eye on the U.S. Drought Monitor map for weekly information
on conditions in your area. The map can be found by visiting droughtmonitor.unl.edu. And for
questions on how to care for your lawn and trees during a drought, contact SavATree today.