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  • When it comes to talking about drought, California always grabs the headlines. But what about

  • other states? Sadly, things aren't looking much wetter for the rest of the country either.

  • Hey everyone, Julia here for DNews. As of last week much of California remains in exceptional

  • drought, the worst category there is. We've talked a lot about the big drought in California

  • before. Not surprisingly, a lot of the at-risk states are in the West, according to recent

  • data from The U.S. Drought Monitor.

  • Along with California, almost all of Nevada and Oregon are severely dry, some parts of

  • Nevada are even exceptionally dry. Other states are feeling the heat too. The monitor shows

  • that large swaths of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah are experiencing abnormally and moderately

  • dry conditions. Kansas is still recovering from last year when 93% of the state was in

  • severe drought.

  • Another center of drought, is in the Southern Plains in Oklahoma and Texas. Parts of North

  • and Western Oklahoma have seen devastating extreme drought over the past few years. But

  • last month some rains relieved a little of that stress. Some areas saw an 8% drop in

  • drought coverage.

  • Texas's drought started in 2011, which ranked as the driest year on record. Since then,

  • the drought shows no sign of letting up. The Lone Star State has seen water tables drop

  • more than 150 feet in some areas. Central Texas is suffering the most, facing severe

  • to exceptional drought. It's so bad that in March of this year, Governor Greg Abbott

  • issued an Emergency Disaster Proclamation certifying that exceptional drought conditions

  • posed a threat of imminent disaster.

  • But the drought is heading north, too. Most of the high plains, Minnesota, Wisconsin,

  • North and South Dakota are in moderate to severe conditions. According to one report

  • by the Government Accountability Office, Montana is most likely to face a water shortage in

  • the next decade.

  • Even Hawaii is feeling the heat. According to the National Weather service, most of the

  • big islandsare in a moderate drought and the month of February saw some record

  • high temperatures.

  • The early part of this decade saw the worst drought since the 1950s. In 2012, sixty four

  • percent of the US was listed as moderately to extremely dry. All this drought and devastation

  • recalls the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. When in 1934 sixty eight percent of the country was

  • extremely dry.

  • Recent research from scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science

  • found the reason that drought was so bad. The surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean

  • ends up controlling the jet stream. As it moves across the country, the stream carries

  • storms like a conveyor belt. When the ocean heats up, it can move those storms North into

  • Canada or further East, skipping over the West and Great Plains. So that's one of

  • the reasons the West is so dry.

  • And that's what happened in the Dust Bowl. Parts of the surface water in Pacific Ocean

  • warmed up in 1934 and 1936. The coastline from Alaska to LA saw unseasonably warm temperatures,

  • that would be bad enough, but stuff was going on on the other side of the country too. Small

  • spots of surface water ALSO warmed up off the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia.

  • These two hot spots changed air pressure and weather patterns. This change led to less

  • rainfall andcreated perfect conditions for scorching hot temperatures to develop

  • in the heart of the US." according to one of the authors of the study.

  • Making matters worse, poor agricultural practices ruined soil creating huge dust storms. This

  • atmospheric dust created a positive feedback loop on the high pressure systems to move

  • the water elsewhere.

  • A similar warming occurred recently off the coast of Maine, possibly leading to the dry

  • spell of 2011-2012. But luckily there wasn't an increase in temperatures on the Pacific

  • Coast line. While we lucked out that time, the researchers stress that these kind of

  • events are more likely to happen thanks to climate change. Some estimates say we could

  • face the worst drought in a millennia if things stay the same.

  • So where are we going to get more fresh water from? Well some people think the ocean could

  • save us, Julian doesn't think so. To find out why, check out this video right here.

  • Alright guys what do you think could fix the drought? Let us know down in the comments

  • below or if you have any questions about weather leave those too and we could answer them in

  • a future episode. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss an episode. and as always,

  • thank for watching DNews.

When it comes to talking about drought, California always grabs the headlines. But what about

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How Much Of America Is In A Drought?

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/17
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