Worsening Western Drought

Western drought mapDrought conditions continue to worsen across the Western U.S., according to the latest edition of the drought monitor, out this morning:

Temperatures fell from the previous week’s lofty levels but remained above normal for the 7-day (March 20-26) period. Late in the period, favorably cooler, wetter weather arrived in the West in conjunction with a developing storm. Nevertheless, the overall Western depiction exhibited a worsening trend due to a disappointing winter wet season, prematurely melting snow, and worsening prospects for spring and summer runoff potential. In particular, drought areas of the Southwest and Intermountain West were connected, resulting in a net expansion of moderate drought (D1) across Nevada, Utah, and adjacent areas.


  1. We are in the middle of what might turn out to be a drought in the Southeast. We have just had an almost entirely precipitation-free month, and March is usually the wettest month of the year around here.

    Off topic, I saw that a Denver gas company is planning to put in wells within sight of the Chaco Canyon visitor center. Have you heard anything about that in ABQ?

  2. Pingback: Drought worsening in the West? at Live From Silver City

  3. Mark – Which southeastern state are you in?

    The Chaco thing already flared up and died. The head of the New Mexico State Land office decided, after a story about the wells appeared on the front page of the newspaper, that the drilling was a bad idea.

  4. I’m in Rome, which is in the northwest part of Georgia. We live on a mountain and have a well, so we are very interested in rain.

    I’m glad to hear the Chaco Canyon gas drilling was stopped.

  5. Mark — as are many people in the hills west of Boulder here. How deep are your wells? If sketchy memory serves, I’ve heard of wells up to 2000′ feet here. Water supply, especially into the fall up high is a big issue in buying property up there.

  6. Our water is much closer to the surface. I live on a mountain ridge about 1300-1400 ft above sea level. Our house is about 500 to 800 feet higher than the surrounding terrain. Our well is just over 200 feet deep. Some neighbors are 100 feet or so deeper. We have had no problems with water supply but at least one neighbor with a well about 200 feet away has. We had a fairly severe drought last summer and some indications are that we might have another one this summer. We simply cannot risk watering plants – I haul in water in 50-gal tanks to keep our plants from dying.

    Despite our relatively plentiful precipitation here in Georgia, the Atlanta metro area has grown in population so much and has increased its water use so much that Georgia is in a water war with Alabama and Florida over taking too much water out of Atlanta’s only water supply, the Chattahoochee River. And now Atlanta wants to take water from other river basins, threatening even more areas. Sometimes the local news sounds like the western water disputes.

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