29 Oct '15, 9pm

Our current drought: Visible from space and under-appreciated in the eastern US.

At the end of summer 2015, the western United States continues to face a deep, ongoing drought. Conditions were particularly severe in California, Oregon, and Washington, where below-average precipitation has had a large, lasting effect on water supplies. The shortage is visible to satellites that detect the movement and depletion of water supplies at and below Earth’s surface. The maps above were produced with data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, combined with other satellite and ground-based measurements. They show the relative amount of water stored near the surface and underground as of September 14, 2015. The maps do not show an absolute measure of wetness, or water content. Instead they show how water content in mid-September 2015 compares to the average for the same time of year between 1948 and 2012. Dark red represents areas wh...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86632&e...

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