US Drought Falls to Record Low

Good news for quail and wildlife: It looks like we will dodge the drought bullet for the moment. Now is the time to implement the range recovery practices that will mitigate the next dry cycle.

NOTE: This post initially appeared on TheGWPF.com on April 28, 2017

 

Drought in the U.S. fell to a record low this week, with just 6.1% of the lower 48 states currently experiencing such dry conditions, federal officials announced Thursday.

That’s the lowest percentage in the 17-year history of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report. The previous record low occurred in July 2010, when 7.7% of the contiguous U.S. was in a drought.

“Drought has certainly been disappearing at a rapid rate this spring,” said meteorologist Brad Rippey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The five-year drought in California is practically over, with only about 8% of the state currently in drought.

The strong El Niño of 2015-16 may have caused the initial decrease last year, he said. “El Niño is historically a ‘drought-breaker,’ while La Niña is a ‘drought-maker.’ ”

A persistent low-pressure area sitting along the west coast of North America this year helped fuel the ongoing wet weather, USDA meteorologist Eric Luebehusen said. Low pressure causes air to rise, which allows clouds and precipitation to form. Those storms and wet weather then typically meander east-northeast across the central U.S., he said.

The current record low is in sharp contrast to September 2012, when drought reached a record high — 65.5% — in the U.S.

Posted by Chris Gill

    1. These are very good, thanks.

      I have posted the Sonoran Desert grazing video.

      The gabion piece is an example of an intensive approach which may work but is too expensive for general use. The hydrological ideas have merit. Look at our posts on water harvesting: Same idea, but accomplished cheaply. Animal impact must follow, or improvements will be temporary.

      Reply

      1. Gustav Soeborg May 22, 2017 at 10:56 am

        That is my thought too.

        The best thing that could happen was if beavers would settle down.

        Reply

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