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).