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Lower 48 Drought Free


Following the wettest 12 months on record in North America, the continental US is now virtually drought-free. The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration reported that precipitation in the US from May 2018 to April 2019 topped 36 inches, shattering a record that stood more than 120 years. Drought conditions currently impact less than 2 percent of the lower 48 states. This soggy state of affairs seems even more remarkable considering that in January 2018, nearly 40 percent of the US was suffering some degree of drought. Staggering rainfall — from downpours that caused flooding to sustained periods of wetness — saturated the land as relentless snowfall from Maine to Montana. Drought conditions improved but did not entirely disappear in pockets of Oregon, New Mexico, and Texas. Outlier Alaska, meanwhile, experienced its tenth hottest April on record, while drought footprints across Hawaii expanded thanks to an unusually dry March and April.
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