California’s Catastrophic Drought Just Got Worse

How bad is California’s devastating drought? Just in the past week, the percentage of the state identified as being in “exceptional drought”—the most severe category—jumped from a quarter to a third. The government-funded United States Drought Monitor classifies the entire state as in drought, and as of Tuesday, nearly 77 percent of California was in “extreme drought,” which is just one notch below exceptional drought. Here’s a map of California’s drought-afflicted areas as of June 10. Here’s the map as of June 17. This map from June 2013 looks deceptively reassuring—no red spots!—but even a year ago, nearly the entire state was experiencing moderate to extreme drought.

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