Nearly 82% of the U.S. is facing troubling drought conditions

Nearly 82% of the U.S. is facing troubling drought conditions

Severe to exceptional drought conditions remain common in the West, which has been battling its driest period in the past 1,200 years. But the drought is now far more widespread, with unusual dryness continuing in parts of the Northeast and expanding extreme drought conditions in the Midwest.

The West

Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California

A little over 40% of California is seeing extreme drought conditions — stretching from the Los Angeles area to the Central Valley all the way up into the Shasta Cascades and southern Oregon. The last 3 water years — which run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 — have been the driest in California’s history.

Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, and Utah are entirely in drought.

In Utah, more than 51% of the state is seeing extreme drought conditions, dropping water levels in the Great Salt Lake to record lows for the second year in a row.

High Plains

Colorado, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas

Less than 10% is drought-free.

In Nebraska, no part of the state is drought-free and over 98% of the state is seeing at least moderate drought conditions. Over the past 3 months, the percentage of the state under severe drought has nearly doubled, while areas of exceptional drought — the worst level on the drought monitor’s scale — have expanded to 11.5%.

In Kansas, 27% of the state is under exceptional drought.

The South

Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Drought conditions significantly worsened over the past year. Now, just under 6% of the region is drought-free.

By far the worst of the drought is in Oklahoma, where just over 85% of the state is seeing a severe drought. Nearly 30% is experiencing exceptional drought.


Over the past 3 months alone, the percentage of the Hawaii seeing severe drought has climbed from 16 to 40%.


Nearly all of Alabama, Georgia and parts of the Florida Panhandle are seeing abnormal dryness, with pockets of moderate to severe drought.

The percentage of Georgia seeing abnormal dryness shot up from nearly 50% this week, with Alabama seeing a change from 64 to 98% in the same time frame.

37% of Missouri is seeing severe drought conditions, with pockets of extreme drought in the state’s southwest corner.

Drought conditions have overtaken all of Iowa, as well as much of Minnesota. Both states have pockets of extreme and severe drought.