La Nina Fueling Western Drought

More than half of the United States is experiencing a drought as La Nina favors warmer and drier weather across much of the country. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of the drought west of the Mississippi River and extends into Illinois and Indiana, as well as the Northeast. Drought conditions cover 91 percent of the 11 states in the West as determined by the Drought Monitor, with extreme drought conditions covering 40 percent of the region. That drought area expands into west Texas and the Plains states. Drought conditions cover 98 percent of the High Plains states, and 35 percent of the Midwest. The southeast, including Louisiana, are largely spared from drought conditions, but at the cost of an active hurricane season. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the ongoing La Nina is expected to expand and intensify drought across the southern and central Plains, eastern Gulf Coast, and in California during the months ahead.

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