Since the beginning of 2012, the contiguous United States has been experiencing drier than average conditions. This lack of precipitation is affecting water availability for agriculture and municipal use, as well as increasing concerns about soil quality and wildfires.
In summer 2011, the South was in the grip of one of the worst droughts on record. Many parts of New Mexico and western Texas have received a small fraction of their normal rainfall over the past 10 months.
All but a handful of weather stations across Alaska reported well below-normal precipitation in May 2011, placing that month in a statistical tie with May 1974 as the driest May since records began in 1918.