12 Jun '18, 2pm

Intensifying Drought in the American Southwest

Much of the U.S. Southwest is heading into summer in the throes of a persistent and ever-more severe drought. Temperatures across much of the region in 2018 have been well above the norms, while rainfall and mountain snow have been well below—a recipe for struggling farmers and concerned forest fire managers. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor , approximately 97 percent of the state of Arizona is now in severe drought, with 16 percent of the area rated as “exceptional drought” (the worst rating). In New Mexico, monitors estimated 88 percent of the state in severe drought and 18 percent exceptional. Severe drought also gripped Utah (60 percent), Colorado (51 percent), Oklahoma (41 percent), and Texas (23 percent, mostly in the north). California, which climbed out of a long-term drought last year, is back to 21 percent severe drought, almost all of it in the southern thi...

Full article: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=92274&...

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