After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.
In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Drought conditions remain dreadful in much of the country; the Drought Monitor produced by the Drought Mitigation Center says 54.25 percent of the United States is in moderate drought or experiencing something more sinister. This includes "severe, extreme and exceptional", the worst categories in the drought conditions index.
This year’s stubborn drought and the changing climate will have serious consequences for Colorado’s multi-billion dollar recreation and farming industries, as well as the state’s forests that have seen severe, un-naturally large wildfires recently.