Almost 80 percent of the contiguous United States is facing abnormally dry conditions right now. In fact, much of the lower half of the country is facing at least severe to extreme drought. To make matters worse, scientists are not expecting relief any time soon. In many of these areas, drought is predicted to continue to get worse.
Drought is the nationís most costly natural disaster, far exceeding earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and floods. FEMA has estimated that the annual average cost of drought in the United States ranges from $6 to $8 billion. (By comparison, the annual costs of flooding are in the $2 to $4 billion range.) Unlike flooding, drought does not come and go in a single episode. Rather, it often takes a long time for drought to begin to impact an area, and it can fester for months or even years.
Dry Conditions to Persist Throughout the Nation | Science Features
Very interesting read about the drought in the USA and how it is recorded and forecasts for the future.