The horrific drought that has much of the western half of the United States in a death grip has already surpassed what many scientists thought was possible.
Some areas of the Southwest went more than 200 straight days without any measurable rain last year, vegetation is disappearing at a frightening pace, and giant dust storms are becoming increasingly common.
For years, we have been warned that the droughts in the Southwest were getting worse. For years, we have been warned that Dust Bowl conditions would return.
Now a nightmare scenario is upon us, and authorities are using the term "megadrought" to describe what is taking place...
The western U.S. continues to endure dry conditions, and now scientists are using the term "megadrought" to describe the problem -- which has existed for decades -- with no end in sight.
"A megadrought is typically a drought event that has a long duration," Brian Fuchs, with the National Drought Mitigation Center, said to FOX Television Stations Tuesday.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map that has been released has such bad news that it is hard to believe. More than 265,000 square miles of territory is currently experiencing "exceptional drought conditions"...
The scope of the western drought is chilling. All of Nevada, Utah and New Mexico are in drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. Close behind are Arizona at 98.9% and Colorado at 98.6%.
More disturbing is the size of what's called the "exceptional drought" area, according to the US Drought Monitor. Parts of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, California and Texas classified as exceptional drought, total 265,200 square miles. For comparison, that is nearly equivalent to the size of Texas.
It would be difficult to overstate the severity of this crisis. In fact, the Wall Street Journal says that this drought is already "one of the most severe on record in the Southwest".