Where’s the rain? Parched states can’t shake the drought

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click image to zoomDrought MonitorDrought Monitor map released on May 23, 2013. The drought that ravaged the western Corn Belt isn’t done just yet. Currently, 46 percent of the contiguous United States is in moderate or worse drought with the worst areas confined primarily to the extreme western Corn Belt and Southwest, according to the latest Drought Monitor report.

Included in this increasing drought intensity are parts of:

 State

Extreme to Exceptional Drought

Kansas

46%

Colorado

15%

Oklahoma

27%

Texas

35%

New Mexico

82%

The news isn’t all bad, however. Eastern parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska have benefited from more wet weather.

Click here for the Drought Monitor report and map.

New Mexico, now the driest state in the country, is marking its driest two-year period in 120 years of record-keeping, according to the Associated Press. The drought has also pushed more people in the state to turn to religion because, as one active church member pointed in an article here, “praying can’t hurt.”

Harris-Mann Climatology, a long-range weather forecasting service, released its annual summer outlook earlier this week. Unlike the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released by the National Weather Service, Harris-Mann Climatology expects the drought to move eastward.

“The drought in the Southwest is expected to move and expand eastward over the central and southern Great Plains, as well as at least the western Midwest, by late June or July. Flooded areas near the Missouri River are likely to turn to the opposite extreme of dryness later this summer season," climatologist and forecaster Cliff Harris said in a news release.



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