Drought Sets New 21st-Century Benchmark
Jul 5, 2012
The latest weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report, released Thursday morning, shows drought encompassing more of the contiguous U.S. than at any other time since the report’s debut in January 2000.
The analysis, compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center, shows 55.96% of the 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) in some stage of drought, breaking the previous high of 54.79% set on August 26, 2003. Last week’s report showed 51.13% of the country in drought.
The Weather Channel estimates that 205 million Americans in the Lower 48 – two-thirds of the population – is either in a drought area or an “abnormally dry” area in the Drought Monitor analysis.