Drought now covers almost 35% of U.S., and is predicted to grow

 Photo: Tim Benson. Remnants of a milo field during a severe drought in Texas, 2014.



Photo: Tim Benson. Remnants of a milo field during a severe drought in Texas, 2014.

According to a weekly update at the U.S. Drought Portal (drought.gov!), "moderate" to "exceptional" drought now covers 34.3% of the contiguous United States.

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The scale of drought intensity shown in these maps allows for 5 stages:

D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought

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In California, a full 36.5% of the state is now in that most severe "exceptional" drought stage for the second week in a row. These conditions are not expected to improve any time soon.

More data and interactive drought maps at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

If you're in the US and you're curious about how the drought is affecting the area where you live, visit drought.gov enter your zip code in the little box there. If you're in California, prepare to weep.

Also at the National Drought Mitigation Center website: the most depressing photo gallery on the internet.

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