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U.S. Drought Conditions Continue to Worsen

Posted by feww on March 28, 2014


Drought spreads to nearly 52 percent of Contiguous US

Drought conditions D0 (Abnormally Dry) to D4 (Exceptional Drought) cover 51.95 percent of land area in the U.S., up more than 0.5 percent since last week, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor

US Drought Conditions D0 – D4

  • West:  71.88% (up from 71.51% last week)
  • South: 66.29% (up from 65.34%; D3 and D4 conditions rapidly expanding)
  • High Plains: 47.65% (from 46.94%;  D1, D2 and D3 spreading)
  • Midwest: 35.15%  (D1 condition spreading)
  • Southeast: 6.02% (from 5.07%; D1 spreading from 0.0 to 0.61%)
  • Northeast: 3.95% (unchanged)
  • Contiguous US: 51.95% (from 51.47%)

us drough map 25march2014
Weekly Drought Map for the Contiguous United States. Sourced from US Drought Monitor. Map Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog.

Crop Disasters Caused by Drought

Since January 10, 2014, at least 864 counties across 16 states have been declared as crop disaster areas by USDA due to worsening drought.

  • Those states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. A number of counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The latest disaster designations were issued by USDA for a total of 59 counties in five states—Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Arizona—on March 26, 2014.

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