Drought continues to pose western threat

Despite significant precipitation in much of the West this spring, drought continues to post a threat according to the experts at Summer 2013 National Drought Outlook Forum on Capitol Hill.

Current drought conditions, coupled with predictions for persistent dryness throughout much of the Western U.S., pose a threat to agriculture, the environment, economy and human health reported leading experts from numerous federal agencies and non-government organizations.

The event provided a seasonal drought forecast along with discussion of current and expected drought impacts and what plans are in place for response and mitigation.

According to the forecast:

Extreme to exceptional drought continues to pose a threat to the agricultural community in the central U.S.

Exceptional drought now covers 44% of the state of New Mexico, where significant drought impacts have been observed.

Drought is anticipated to intensify or persist in the West, with some possible development in Oregon and Idaho.

The Plains tend to receive most of their annual precipitation between May and August, so drought conditions are anticipated to improve in the Plains.

The event, co-sponsored by the Western Governors’ Association, also provided details about the re-authorization of the Drought Information Act of 2013.