U.S. Is in Desperate Need of Rain

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In your potentially troubling environmental news of the day, there are only two states in the U.S. that aren't experiencing "abnormally dry" or drought conditions, meaning that the country is the driest its been since 2007. Congratulations, Ohio and Alaska! You're totally drought-free!

"A mostly dry, mild winter has put nearly 61% of the lower 48 states in 'abnormally dry' or drought conditions," reports USA Today's Doyle Rice, using information from the U.S. Drought Monitor. "That's the highest percentage of dry or drought conditions since September 2007, when 61.5% of the country was listed in those categories."  If you can't remember what happened in 2007 (remember that weird NASA, diaper-laden love triangle?), well, there were severe energy implications because of the drought, and California wildfires sparked out of control--killing at least 14 and destroying at least 1500 homes.  So, yes, mirroring 2007's drought conditions isn't a good thing. 

Eyes are on Texas and the South which are still recovering from $10 billion of agricultural losses and those awful wildfires from last year.  And if you look at the angry-looking map below, it's basically the color of terrible acne--which is not a good thing, despite Texas' wetter than usual winter. "The state dropped from 100% in the four categories of drought in late September to 64% this week. Much of western Texas remains in extreme to exceptional drought," reports USA Today.  According to The Associated Press' Rami Plushnick-Masti, Texans seem to have learned from last year's drought and are planning to implement precautions like water restrictions in its major cities. But, AP mentions a giant, troublesome problem: "One obstacle looms over many of these efforts: The state can make elaborate plans for water needs, but it has no authority or tools to ensure the plans are actually implemented."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.