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U.S. Drought Update

Posted by feww on October 19, 2012

U.S. drought retreats fractionally, expected to persist through winter

Abnormally Dry to Exceptional Drought conditions (D0 to D4 drought levels on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale) now cover 74.98 percent of Continental United States, down from 76.72 percent last week, due to multiple storm system moving across the country.

U.S. Drought Map


U.S. Drought Map, October 16, 2012. Released by US Drought Monitor on October 18, 2012.

“The large majority” of the drought is expected to persist, however, and spread westward, said deputy director of NOAA.

“We even see drought expanding westward … into Montana, Idaho and part of Oregon and Washington.” He said.

Forecasters at NOAA also predict a dryer-than-usual and warmer winter.

“The main issues facing the U.S. going into this (winter) outlook period stem from persistent heat and drought,” chief of climate monitoring at NCDC told Reuters. “It is likely that 2012 will be the warmest of the 118-year record for the contiguous United States.”

2012 Drought Disaster Update

USDA has designated 2,673 counties as agricultural disaster areas. The designations, which extend across 47 states and D.C., include 2,234 counties listed as primary and 439 as contiguous disaster areas, as of October 17, 2012.


Total All Crop Approved Designations Disaster Incidents as of 10/17/2012- USDA Farm Service Agency Production, Emergencies and Compliance Division.   NOTE: The above map does NOT appear to have been fully updated.

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