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U.S. Drought Intensifies

Posted by feww on April 4, 2014


Drought worsens in the U.S. Midwest, South

Drought Levels D0 to D4, Abnormally Dry to Exceptional Drought, covered about 52.88 percent of the land area in the contiguous United States, up from 51.98 percent last week, according to the US Drought Monitor.

U.S. Drought Class Change (1 week ending April 1, 2014). Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

The West

Areas covered by drought levels D0 – D4 increased marginally to 71.89 percent .  California’s snow-water equivalent is only 32 percent of the average for April 1, when snowpack is at its peak level before the spring melt.


D0-D4 drought levels spread to 40.57 percent of the region  from  35.15 percent last week.  The total area covered by snow in the northern Great Lakes region was 56.2% as of April 1, 2014, according to NWS/NOHRSC.

South: Texas
San Angelo Area reservoirs are currently 7.9% full while the Panhandle Planning Region reservoirs are just 1.7% full.

Crop Disaster Declared for 45 Counties in Texas, Oklahoma

The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA has designated a total of 45 counties in Texas and Oklahoma as crop disaster areas due to the worsening drought.

Those areas are

  • Texas. Bell, Dallas, Hamilton, McLennan, Comanche, Eastland, Hill, Mason, Coryell, Fannin, Lamar, Bosque, Erath, Lampasas, Palo, Pinto, Brown, Falls, Limestone, Red River, Burnet, Gillespie, Llano, Rockwall, Callahan, Grayson, McCulloch, San Saba, Collin, Hunt, Menard, Shackelford, Delta, Johnson, Milam, Stephens, Denton, Kaufman, Mills, Tarrant, Ellis, Kimble, Navarro and Williamson counties.
  • Oklahoma. Bryan and Choctaw counties.

Drought Disasters 2014

Since January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 909 counties across 16 states as crop disaster areas 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.
  • Crop disasters have been declared in an additional 22 counties in the states of New York and Pennsylvania due to  Freeze.

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 disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 2, 2014.

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