Dry conditions gripping much of the US

Many locations have not seen rainfall for months

By Beverly Perry - Meteorologist

Dry conditions are gripping the United States.

According to the latest Drought Monitor, just over 38 percent of the country is in a drought.
This statistic is rapidly approaching the highest percentage recorded (40 percent) which was reached in May of 2014.

Southern and western portions of the nation are dealing with the worst conditions. 
According to NOAA, a lot of the major winter storms have bypassed the West.

As a result, the Sierra Nevada has not reached the much needed snowpack this season.

That snowpack provides water to millions that reside in California. 

The southern Plains have come up empty-handed as far as rainfall.

Many locations have not seen rainfall for months.

Amarillo, Texas, has spent well over 100 days without a drop of precipitation.

Drought conditions have led to the rapid decline in Oklahoma's winter wheat crop.

According to the Drought Monitor, nearly 79 percent of the winter wheat crop is bad shape.

Virginia ranges from abnormally dry to the severe drought criteria, according to the Drought Monitor. 

Since Nov. 1, Roanoke picked up just more than an inch of rain through mid January.

Conditions are improving.

In the past 25 days, Roanoke has received nearly three inches of rain. 

The Climate Prediction Center indicates the drought will continue for the next several months. 

USA Today reported that some 87 million Americans are living where there’s a drought.

To put things in perspective, there have been well over 3,000 wildfires so far this year. It’s only February.

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