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States with the worst droughts

Stacker Logo By Andrew Lisa of Stacker | Slide 1 of 52: The 21st century gave the United States a dose of what the future of climate change has in store. “All of the years on record that were hotter or more disaster-filled came in the past decade,” according to Climate Central. It refers to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA climate reports that show the hottest 10 years on record occurred between 1998 and 2018, as did the years with record numbers of $1 billion-plus weather- and climate-related disasters. Among those disasters were several significant, costly, and deadly droughts.

Currently, however, the country is enjoying a reprieve. According to the Weather Channel, drought coverage in the continental United States is at an all-time low for the 21st century, meaning less of the country is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions than at any point since 2000. In fact, the wettest six-month period of any year came in 2018, and 2019 offered a multi-month run of top-10 wettest periods in many states. All that precipitation has eliminated lingering drought across much of America.

Using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), Stacker ranked each state and Washington D.C., in order of the percentage of the state that is experiencing drought as of April 2019. The USDM, according to its website, “is a map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country.” The list compares not only drought levels but also drought intensity levels for a single year between May 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019.

All told, 23 states experienced no drought conditions during that year. These states are all tied at the bottom of the ranking. The rest are broken down by USDM's five categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought, and exceptional drought. The list also describes conditions that led to drought, or the lack thereof, in each state, as well as looks at what took place that led to each state's change in drought status over the course of the year.

You may also like: States with the highest risk of flooding

States with the worst droughts

The 21st century gave the United States a dose of what the future of climate change has in store. “All of the years on record that were hotter or more disaster-filled came in the past decade,” according to Climate Central. It refers to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA climate reports that show the hottest 10 years on record occurred between 1998 and 2018, as did the years with record numbers of $1 billion-plus weather- and climate-related disasters. Among those disasters were several significant, costly, and deadly droughts.

Currently, however, the country is enjoying a reprieve. According to the Weather Channel, drought coverage in the continental United States is at an all-time low for the 21st century, meaning less of the country is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions than at any point since 2000. In fact, the wettest six-month period of any year came in 2018, and 2019 offered a multi-month run of top-10 wettest periods in many states. All that precipitation has eliminated lingering drought across much of America.

Using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), Stacker ranked each state and Washington D.C., in order of the percentage of the state that is experiencing drought as of April 2019. The USDM, according to its website, “is a map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country.” The list compares not only drought levels but also drought intensity levels for a single year between May 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019.

All told, 23 states experienced no drought conditions during that year. These states are all tied at the bottom of the ranking. The rest are broken down by USDM's five categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought, and exceptional drought. The list also describes conditions that led to drought, or the lack thereof, in each state, as well as looks at what took place that led to each state's change in drought status over the course of the year.

You may also like: States with the highest risk of flooding

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