Condition Monitoring Scale Bar



The Condition Monitoring Scale Bar provides a standardized form of condition reporting to allow for comparison between CoCoRaHS stations and to see change over time. Select the current status of conditions in your area from one of the 7 categories representing a range of dry, normal, or wet conditions. Local conditions will change from wetter to drier, or drier to wetter, with varying amounts of rain or snowfall, or as seasons change. A lack of rainfall may lead to drier conditions more quickly in warmer summer months. In the case of an extreme event such as a hurricane or tropical storm, conditions may transition more quickly (e.g., moderately dry to severely wet).

The guidance below is intended to help you distinguish between the different wet and dry categories. It was developed for an ongoing Drought Early Warning project in North and South Carolina supported by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Varying levels of wetness and dryness in other parts of the country (e.g., the arid Southwest) may not be well represented by the guidance provided below. CoCoRaHS observers outside of the Carolinas are encouraged to utilize the scale bar, selecting categories that best represent conditions in your part of the country. Users who review the reports you submit will also see the location of your CoCoRaHS station and will consider that when assessing the selected category. 


Dry Conditions

Normal Conditions

Wet Conditions

Mildly Dry

  • Soil is somewhat dry.
  • Growth may have slowed for plants, crops, or pastures.
  • Precipitation or water deficits may be present.
  • Local plants, pastures, or crops may not have fully recovered if conditions are changing from drier to wetter. 


Near normal

Observed conditions are expected for this time of year. 


Mildly Wet

  • Soil moisture is above normal.
  • Local plants, crops, or pastures are healthy, recovering from dry conditions, or draining from wet conditions. 

Moderately Dry

  • Soil is dry.
  • Plants may be brown due to dry conditions.
  • Plants, crops, or pastures may be stressed.
  • Streams, reservoirs, or well water levels may be low.
  • Water shortages may be present.
  • Voluntary water use restrictions may be in place. 


Moderately Wet

  • Soil is very damp.
  • The ground is partially saturated with water.
  • Standing water may be present in low areas and ditches.
  • Local plants, crops, or pastures are healthy and lush.
  • Water bodies may be slightly more full than normal.  

Severely Dry

  • Soil moisture is absent.
  • Crop or pastures losses may be experienced.
  • Ponds, lakes, streams, and wells may be nearly empty or dry.
  • Mandatory water restrictions may be in place.
  • Water shortages or water emergencies are present or possible. 


Severely Wet

  • Soil is wet.
  • Ground is completely saturated with water.
  • Standing water is severe and abundant.
  • Water bodies are very elevated.
  • Flooding may be present, leading to plant, crop, or pasture damage.