Persistent drought raises concerns for 2014

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click image to zoomdrought MonitorThe Drought Monitor map released on Dec. 12, 2013. It’s looking more and more likely that more than half of the country will go into 2014 dry and ready for a wet spring.

In the latest Drought Monitor, conditions worsened slightly over many areas battle the drought, especially in the West.  However, the spread of drought pales in comparison to last year, when more than 61 percent of the Continental United States was in moderate or worse drought.

With no drought relief on the horizon and an unusually dry start to the rainy season, some lawmakers in California are Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in anticipation of another year of drought.  Read more from the San Francisco (Calif.) Gate here.

Winter storm systems did bring incremental relief to some areas, especially in Texas, Arkansas and Wyoming.  Read the full Drought Monitor here. Much of the areas desperately needing drought relief were bypassed in the last storm system.  

As the Weather Channel shows here, much of the country was plunged into a deep Arctic blast last week with some areas finally seeing above-freezing temperatures.

Steve Johnson, private meteorologist, explained to The Fresno (Calif.) Bee, the frigid temperatures may be an indication of what to expect with a 2014 drought, especially in California.

"This is also a potential disaster," Johnson said. "The correlation between drought years and extreme cold events is very high."

See, “Could Valley's extreme cold mean a longer drought?”



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