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U.S. Drought Coverage Nearly Doubled Since March 2016

During the 4-week period ending on August 2, 2016, contiguous U.S. drought coverage increased to 21.12 percent—up 3.35 percentage points.  Drought coverage has nearly doubled since reaching a 5½-year minimum of 12.41 percent on March 15, 2016.  During the summer of 2016, drought coverage and intensity has increased in several areas across the Plains, South, and Northeast, but has mostly shrunk in the Midwest—except in the lower Great Lakes region.

In recent weeks, extreme drought (D3) has returned to a few areas east of the Rockies, including the Black Hills and the southern Appalachians.  On August 2, extreme drought covered just over 5 percent of South Dakota and nearly 4 percent of Wyoming.  In the Southeast, coverage of D3 approached 13 percent in Georgia, was nearly 3 percent in Alabama, was just under 2 percent in South Carolina and Tennessee, and topped 1 percent in Mississippi.  Blobs of severe drought (D2) covered parts of the Northeast, with D2 coverage by August 2 reaching 62 percent in Massachusetts, 24 percent in New York, 22 percent in New Hampshire, 21 percent in Rhode Island, and 10 percent in Connecticut.  Meanwhile, 84 percent of California was in drought (D1 or worse) on August 2, while 43 percent was considered to be in extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4).

Read the full release: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/USDMNews.aspx



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