U.S. Drought Monitor: Record percentage of country affected by drought

Photo: Associated Press

High temperatures, searing heat and a nationwide lack of rain has not only left the majority of the United States parched, but it's dry at record levels, according to a new report.

The latest release from the U.S. Drought Monitor, a joint research study by the USDA, Department of Commerce, NOAA and the National Drought Mitigation Center, shows that just under 56 percent of the lower 48 states is being affected by drought conditions.

The percentage is an all-time high for the study, according to The Weather Channel.

According to the report, the hardest hit state in America is Colorado. Baked by hot temperatures and burned by out-of-control wildfires over the past few weeks, the entire state is consumed by drought conditions. The majority of it falls under "D3" conditions, which indicates severe drought.

Much of Virginia is under "D1" conditions, which the report indicates that the Commonwealth has been "abnormally dry." Portions of the District of Columbia and Maryland also are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, with small patches, including southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, seeing moderate drought conditions.

You can check out the full report at

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