Drought slowly shifting westward

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click image to zoomDrought MonitorDrought Monitor map, released on April 4, 2013 More than one-third (35 percent) of the nation is in severe or worse drought, and as April’s spotty showers bring hope to some, others are left high and dry.

Thursday’s Drought Monitor report showed that though the central Plains continue to be plagued by the relentless drought, it’s also now spreading to the western half of the country, including Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.  

Forty-six percent of Colorado is in extreme to exceptional drought, unchanged from last week. Denver-based 7News reports that Colorado farmers are holding back on planting because of the extreme drought conditions. Read more.

In the nation’s midsection, where recent cold conditions and some rain showers have helped ease drought conditions, the intense drought remains.

Though Kansas and South Dakota reported no change from last week’s report, Nebraska again showed a slight improvement.

The Drought Monitor reported 75.72 percent of the Cornhusker State in exceptional drought, marking a move in the right direction.

Texas and Oklahoma are also battling the drought, though late-week rains may help ease some of the dryness. Currently, 12 percent of Texas and 10 percent of Oklahoma are in exceptional drought.

See how your state is doing here. 

There is some good news on the horizon: the Climate Prediction Center expects the drought to ease substantially in most of the central and northern Plains by the end of July. However, for those further south and west, the drought will continue to persist.

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