Half of the US is in Drought

I don't like it when the drought map turns into an optimist/pessimist test. Is the United States half in drought, or half fine? Either way, the numbers are ugly. California is still in 100% drought, joined in that unhappy condition by Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Kansas.


Vegetation anomaly in California compared to normal, where brown is reduced plant growth and green is increased plant growth. Image credit and read more: NASA/Earth Observatory

Half Of The U.S. Is Now In A Drought

It's now just as likely for an area of the U.S. to be in drought as not.

This drought map showing which half of the country is currently in drought and by how much was put together by the U.S. National Drought Monitor, who points out that not only is the scale unusual, it's also the severity.


15% of the country is in the middle of an extreme to an exceptional drought (all those scary red splotches you see on the map), including California, where the entire state is currently affected.

But the severity of this year's drought isn't the only problem — it's also the droughts from the previous years and the years to come. The effects can easily compound from year to year, an issue that is becoming steadily more apparent in the Midwestern Plains and the Southwest.

What about your area of the country? Tag your locale on the map, and tell us any stories about water shortages or drought conditions you've seen in your area.


Image: U.S. National Drought Monitor / NASA EO.