Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

It’s mind-boggling when we look at how much area of the U.S. is currently in a drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a group of organizations that share drought assessments from local areas across the country. The Drought Monitor issues an update every Thursday, with data that goes up to Tuesday.
Today the U.S. Drought Monitor says 84 percent of the U.S. area is in a drought status from abnormally dry to exceptional drought, the most severe ranking of drought. This also means only 16 percent of the U.S. has no drought situation.
Staring at the drought map puts it in better perspective. It’s hard to find any area not at least shaded yellow, which is called abnormally dry.
Drought status as of October 25, 2022 (Issued by U.S. Drought Monitor)
Over one-third of the U.S. is in severe drought and almost 15 percent is in extreme drought- the second strongest drought rating.
This is the most amount of at least abnormally dry ground over the U.S. since the Drought Monitor has been producing these statistics starting in January 2000.
In other words, this is the most widespread dry area covering the U.S. in over 22 years.
There is also a method to try and sum up all of the drought categories to compare each week’s total severity of drought. This index is called the Drought Severity and Coverage Index, or DSCI. It is computed by adding the percentage of each grouping of drought categories. This week’s DSCI is 201. While the total area in abnormally dry and drought is the largest area since starting this table, the cumulative severity is only number 19 in weekly cumulative drought severity.
In other words, in the past 22 years we haven’t had as large of a drought area, but we have had bigger areas of the more severe drought categories.
Drought over the U.S. can change quickly. Just three years ago we had the least amount of drought on record, with only eight percent of our land in a drought status.
The U.S. Drought Monitor added up the population currently in drought. They came up with 145 million of us have dry soil. In Michigan we currently have four million of us living in drought areas.
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