A La Nina in the Pacific is creating drought conditions in the U.S. to a degree not seen in almost 20 years. The National Drought Monitor shows 66% of the nation is abnormally dry, the first time conditions have been this bad this yearly in almost 20 years.
“The biggest part is in far west Texas, and some parts of south Texas, but its really expanding and growing to where a really large part of the state is already in some stage of drought,” says Texas A & M Professor and Agri-life Extension economist Dr. David Anderson. He says most of the state can expect condition to get warmer and drier.
Suffering drought conditions on the heels of the February Freeze Dr. Anderson likens to jumping from the pan to the fire. It’s late planting season in Texas and many farmers have already got their seed in the ground of pre-watered fields hoping they’ll take. Dr. Anderson says it’s hard to predict crop yields this far out, but the extent of drought in Midwest grain-producing states will determine if Texas ranchers can afford cattle feed and drive up food prices.
“Most of the state is expected to see the drought get worse, and we’re going to be in a warmer, drier pattern over the next few months,” adds Dr. Anderson.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says two-thirds of the country is already abnormally dry, especially in the western US, and conditions are only going to get worse.NOAA anticipates 74 million people will impacted by this year’s drought.
photo: Getty Images