Drought Update: Autumn 2015

This autumn season has been marked by a number of intense rain and flooding events across the US, from South Carolina to California.  Drought, however, continues to plague large sections of this country.

According to the latest report from the US Drought monitor, 58.96% of the nation is in some form of drought. Many areas in the mid-west and the northeast are listed as abnormally dry or experiencing moderate drought. But, it is the western and southern states that have been particularly dry.

In California, despite some unusually heavy rain recently, the long-term drought continues. In fact, 99.86% of the state is experiencing conditions of moderate drought or worse, with 46% in exceptional drought – the worst possible category. These extremely parched conditions have helped fuel an explosive wildfire season across the Golden State.

As discussed in an earlier post, the multi-year drought in Texas came to an abrupt end this past spring with intense rainfall and catastrophic flooding across the region. Over the summer, however, drought conditions returned. Developing fairly quickly, this is known as a flash drought. As of this week, 65.25% of the massive Lone Star State is in some form of drought and 21.40% is in extreme drought. That is serious weather whiplash!

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.


Credit: US Drought Monitor.