Drought still taking a toll across much of the nation

Heading into June, the heavy drought that has affected much of the country eased, but only somewhat, as the dry conditions continue to take a toll.

That’s according to a June 3 assessment by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal service issued through the Department of Agriculture in coordination with the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

During the four-week period ending on June 3, contiguous U.S. drought coverage declined 2.74 percentage points to 37.32%.  Coverage reached its year-to-date peak of 40.06% on May 6, but subsequent rainfall across portions of the nation’s mid-section has slightly reduced drought’s imprint.

Nevertheless, drought still covers a substantial portion of the central and southern Plains and the western U.S.  On June 3, the highest level of drought—D4, or exceptional drought—was noted in portions of California (25%), Oklahoma (21%), Texas (9%), Nevada (8%), Kansas (2%), and Colorado (2%).  California also led the nation with 77% coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4).


About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.