Nearly Half of the U.S. Is in Drought. It May Get Worse.

The New York Times published an article on October 15 “Nearly Half of the U.S. Is in Drought. It May Get Worse.”

Nearly half of the continental United States is gripped by drought, government forecasters said Thursday, and conditions are expected to worsen this winter across much of the Southwest and South.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said a lack of late-summer rain in the Southwest had expanded “extreme and exceptional” dry conditions from West Texas into Colorado and Utah, “with significant drought also prevailing westward through Nevada, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.”

Click here to view the New York Times article.

Animation of the most recent twenty six weeks of New Mexico’s drought can be seen here (may take a few seconds to download).

Also related: AAAS / Science reports the American Southwest has been mired in drought for most of the past two decades. Studies suggest that the region is experiencing an emerging megadrought, similar to some periods in the past 1,200 years, when droughts persisted for 40 years or longer.