U.S. Facing Historic Drought Numbers

How historic has the long range drought for the United States been?

“We have seen drought in a very narrow range.  46-48% of the country has been covered by drought each week since mid-June of 2021.  So we’re going on almost 5 months of that kind of drought coverage.”

USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey said it has been since September 2020 that the contiguous U.S. has been under drought coverage of 40%, or more.

“Which means that we have seen 58 consecutive weeks in the United States with 40% or greater drought coverage.”

Only two other periods over the U.S. Drought Monitor’s over 20 year history have recorded longer stretches of 40 plus percent drought coverage across the lower 48 states.  Including the record 68 weeks set during the drought of 2012-13, and Rippey believes, “Given patterns that we are seeing, I don’t see that changing.  We may break the record later this winter.”

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