The historic rainfall that flooded the Colorado Front Range in September 2013 did little to dampen drought in the state's southeastern plains.

Maps of precipitation deficits through January show California mountain areas generally have greater deficits than lower elevations, and Southern California with larger deficits than areas to the north. The drought outlook for February remained grim.

The most populated state in the country is facing what may be its worst drought in a century of record-keeping. On January 20, the governor of California declared a state of emergency, urging everyone to begin conserving water.

The U.S. Drought Portal offers access to maps, data, and expert assessments through easy-to-use tools designed to help decision makers monitor, plan for, and recover from water shortages.

From record-low Arctic sea ice to the highest global sea level of the modern record, the 2012 State of the Climate report provides a complete rundown on the state of Earth's climate and how it is changing.

The extent of snow-covered ground in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the cold season (June) hit a record low. Annual average snow cover extent has not exceeded the long-term average even once since 2003. Between 1979 and 2011, the snow cover in June is declining even faster than the end-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent.

Earth's atmosphere includes billions and billions of gallons of evaporated water: i

During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But as Deke Arndt explains, it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won't erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.

NOAA released the 2012 installment of the annual Arctic Report Card on December 5, 2012, as part of the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting. This image collection is a gallery of highlights based on the report's major themes. It was developed by the NOAA Climate.gov team in cooperation with Arctic Report Card authors and other Arctic experts.

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