Getting accustomed to moderate to exceptional drought in the US

“Climate change is real and really dangerous,” warned the Huffington Post.

The severe drought across much of the U.S. proved stubborn once again during the past week as nearly four-fifths of the country was in some form of drought. And the area of the lower 48 states affected by moderate to exceptional drought expanded slightly, hitting a high for the year, according to data released Thursday morning. [Climate Central]

… moderate to exceptional drought covered a new high of 64.16 percent of the lower 48 states as of September 11….

… just 21.47 percent of the lower 48 states was drought free, which is down from 56.53 percent at the same time in 2011.

The drought is the worst to strike the U.S. since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s and lengthy droughts of the 1950s. It came on suddenly and largely without warning, and although the main trigger was most likely a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the drought was exacerbated by extremely hot temperatures during the spring and summer. July, for example, was the hottest month on record in the U.S., and the summer was the third-hottest on record, narrowly losing out to 2011 and 1936. Climate studies have shown that the odds of severe heat waves are increasing due to manmade climate change.