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: Huge spike in global carbon emissions linked to El Nino

Related Stories

What it takes to recover from drought

August 9, 2017

Drought-stricken areas anxiously await the arrival of rain. Full recovery of the ecosystem, however, can extend long past the first rain drops on thirsty ground.

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 ...

Droughts threaten Bornean rainforests

July 16, 2012

At 130 million years old, the rainforests of Southeast Asia are the oldest in the world and home to thousands of plant and animal species, some endemic to these forests. The rainforests also play important roles in modulating ...

'Killer' Southeast drought low on scale, says study

October 1, 2009

A 2005-2007 dry spell in the southeastern United States destroyed billions of dollars of crops, drained municipal reservoirs and sparked legal wars among a half-dozen states—but the havoc came not from exceptional dryness ...

Recommended for you

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

Cool roofs have water saving benefits too

October 20, 2017

The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study ...

0 comments

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.