Drought Update: Summer 2015

This summer has been marked by heavy rain and even flooding in many parts of the United States.  Drought, however, continues to plague large sections of the country.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, 36% of the nation is in some form of drought. While this number represents improvement for some areas, such as Texas and the southern plains, the western states remain very dry. Conditions of moderate drought or worse cover 61% of that region.

In California, despite some unseasonably heavy rain recently, the long-term drought – now in its fourth year – continues. 97% of the state is experiencing conditions of moderate drought or worse and 46% is in extreme drought, the worst possible category.

On the other side of the country, drought is also impacting parts of Florida.  This is fairly unusual as summer is considered the rainy season there. Currently, 45% of the Sunshine state – mostly along the east coast – is experiencing some form of drought. That is up from 15% from just three months ago. Portions of the highly populated areas of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, on the southeastern tip of the peninsula, are dealing with extreme drought.

The Drought Monitor is a weekly publication produced by a partnership of government agencies, including the National Drought Mitigation Center, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

20150721_west_trd 20150721_FL_trd

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.