Over half of US in drought, causing wildfires and tornadoes
According to Drought Monitor, 53.8 % of the lower 48 states are in drought, causing wildfires earlier this season and producing tornadoes.
According to government climate officials' reports, over half the contiguous US was in drought at the beginning of this month, while tornadoes rose above the normal rates and wildfire season started earlier.
53.8% of the lower 48 states were in drought, as per US Drought Monitor, an improvement from a dramatic low in March, when the number was above 60%.
More land in the continental US received less rainfall than expected so far this year than in any other year since 2012.
The outcomes of the megadrought are noticeably increasing in Nevada, where the water level in the US' largest human-made reservoir dropped last month significantly low.
The drier conditions in the West are resulting in an earlier start to wildfire season, such as several blazes that broke out in New Mexico last month and have since been burning and growing.
The largest New Mexico wildfire was just 43% contained after having burned over 200,000 acres.
A record number of tornadoes in March was followed in April, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wrote, by “above-average” twister activity.
On April 5, more than a hundred reports of tornadoes sprang as a result of severe weather across the Southeast.
On April 12, violent storms in Central Texas created a 5.6-inch hailstone and an EF3 tornado in Salado.
On April 29, a video-taped tornado in Andover, Kansas, was part of a system that produced other tornadoes in Nebraska and other twisters in Kansas.