Since late 2010, much of the southernmost United States has been suffering through drought. In July, when the drought was at its peak, severe drought conditions extended from Arizona to Florida. The resulting impacts have been devastating, shrinking water supplies for cattle and crops, and contributing to huge agricultural losses.
The color-coded, drought classification map above shows exceptional drought conditions covering nearly 12 percent of the contiguous United States. The more severe the drought, the darker the red. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, the July percentage is the highest recorded level of drought since the U.S. Drought Monitor began documenting conditions 12 years ago. More than 40 percent of states were experiencing abnormal dryness or drought.
For more on the dry conditions in summer 2011, see Drought in the Southern United States.
Map by Hunter Allen, based on data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.