U.S virtually drought-free for the first time in decades

National News

May 9, 2019 - 10:39 AM

In just over a year’s time, the nation’s rainfall fortunes have shifted suddenly and dramatically. Rainfall famine has turned to rainfall feast.

The amount of U.S. real estate covered by drought is about as low as it has been in recent decades, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday. Drought affects just 2 percent of the country — about the smallest area since the federal government began official monitoring in 2000.

Meanwhile, NOAA data show the last 12 months (May 2018 to April 2019) were the wettest on record for the nation. “Averaged across the contiguous U.S., the total of 36.20 inches made the period from May 2018 to April 2019 the first year-long span ever to top 36 inches,” wrote Bob Henson on Weather Underground’s Category 6 blog. U.S. precipitation records date back to 1895.

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