When scientists start using phrases such as “the worst drought” and “as bad as you can imagine” to describe what is going on in the western half of the country, you know that things are bad. However, in recent weeks the dreadful situation in California has gone from bad to catastrophic as the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than half of the state is now in experiencing ‘exceptional’ drought, the most severe category available. And most of the state – 81% – currently has one of the two most intense levels of drought.
While California’s problems are particularly severe, that state is not alone in experiencing significant drought right now. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River.