U.S. drought spreading in South and West

June 8, 2007

Drought now covers more than a third of the continental United States and is spreading, it was reported Friday.

As summer begins, half of the country is unusually dry or officially in drought from lack of rain, USA Today reported.

It is the driest spring in the U.S. Southeast since record-keeping began in 1895 and California and Nevada recorded their driest June-to-May period since 1924, the National Climatic Data Center said.

In Southern California's Antelope Valley, the dry spring erased the annual bloom of California poppies and in South Florida, Lake Okeechobee, the second-largest body of fresh water in the country, last week fell to a record low level. So much of the lake bed is dry that vegetation covering 12,000 acres of the area caught fire last month.

Saltwater intrusion threatens to contaminate wells for Atlantic coastal towns as fresh groundwater levels drop and in Alabama more than half the corn and wheat crops are in poor condition.

This drought has been particularly harsh in the Southwest, the Southeast and northern Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: GRACE satellites evaluate drought in southeast Brazil

Related Stories

GRACE satellites evaluate drought in southeast Brazil

October 28, 2015

Empty water reservoirs, severe water rationing, and electrical blackouts are the new status quo in major cities across southeastern Brazil where the worst drought in 35 years has desiccated the region. A new NASA study estimates ...

Brazil, land of water, goes thirsty

October 31, 2015

The sign—"risk of drowning"—outside one of Rio de Janeiro's freshwater reservoirs looks like a joke: there's no water here left to drown in.

Seven case studies in carbon and climate

November 13, 2015

Every part of the mosaic of Earth's surface—ocean and land, Arctic and tropics, forest and grassland—absorbs and releases carbon in a different way. Wild-card events such as massive wildfires and drought complicate the ...

Grids that are smart enough to weather tomorrow's storms

November 2, 2015

At the end of October 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept across the northeastern United States at speeds of 150 kph (more than 90 mph). Millions of people were left in the dark. In an era of climate change, energy management systems ...

Polish river reveals 17th century secrets amid drought

September 4, 2015

Archeologists are having a field day in Poland's longest river, the Vistula, which because of a drought has hit a record low water level allowing them to uncover a treasure trove of ancient artifacts.

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.