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Drought Intensifying in the U.S. South and West

Posted by feww on June 2, 2012

70 percent or more of the areas across 20 states are abnormally dry or in drought

The entire states of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico and Rhode Island are in abnormally dry condition (D0) or experiencing various drought levels (D1 – D4).

Drought Map of Contiguous U.S.  released May 31, 2012.

More than 90 percent of the areas in the U.S. states of Nevada, South Carolina (99.07), Utah, Texas, Georgia and Massachusetts are also in D0 – D4 drought conditions.

  • The other states experiencing drought conditions are (%)
    • Alabama (87.97)
    • Kansas (85.84)
    • Wyoming (85.08)
    • Florida (84.82)
    • California (84.11)
    • New Hampshire (80.9)
    • Louisiana (79.72)
    • Maryland (73.09)
    • Oklahoma (72.7)
    • Tennessee (70.66)
    • Iowa (69.9)

“We haven’t seen it quite like this since the 2002 season, which was a big wildfire season,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Rame.


“… a combination of abnormal dryness and heat sparked rapid drought development across the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, while near-record heat across the Southeast was interrupted by hit and miss thunderstorm activity. During the upcoming three month period, drought persistence is expected across the Great Basin and central Rockies due to a dry climatology, while the onset of the monsoon season may bring some relief to portions of the Southwest.” NWS/CPC reported.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Brazil.  More than 800 municipalities in northeastern Brazil are in drought emergency, following an official announcement that 25 more cities in Pariaba state are in drought condition.
    • The worst-hit states include Bahia, Ceara, Pariaba, and Rio Grande do Norte, with a total of more than 10 million people affected.
    • In the worst-affected areas water is trucked to the parched cities.
  • Beijing, China.   Water consumption in the Chinese capital Beijing is expected to reach a record high this summer, the authorities said.
    • Peak  consumption in Beijing is forecast to reach 2.97million cubic meter per day.
    • The city has a maximum daily capacity of 3 million m³/day.
    • Beijing Municipality has a population of at least 20million.
    • “On May 28, Beijing’s water consumption reached 2.77 million m³, exceeding the peak amount seen last year,” said the report.
    • Beijing has been experiencing drought for 13 consecutive years,” and its fast-paced economic development and ever-growing population have exacerbated the water shortage.”
    • Average water consumption in China is about 80 liters per person per day, or less than 15 percent of the U.S. consumption.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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