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'Exceptional' Drought Parches United States

About 41 percent of the country is facing abnormal dryness or drought.

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The heat wave baking the Central and Eastern U.S. last month claimed more records. July was the warmest month ever recorded in Washington, DC (84.5), Oklahoma City (89.2) and Wichita Falls, Texas (92.9).

The drought monitor combines numeric measures of drought and experts' best judgment into a weekly map. It is produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and incorporates review from 300 climatologists, extension agents and others across the nation.

Each week the previous map is revised based on rain, snow and other events, observers' reports of how drought is affecting crops, wildlife and other indicators.


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