‘Flash drought’ reported as far as eastern Massachusetts amid record hot summer

A “flash drought” has developed in the southern and northeastern regions, according to US Drought Monitorin states including Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Massachusetts.
Flash drought is defined by the rapid onset or intensification of unusually high temperatures, sunny and windy conditions, which together can dramatically alter the local climate in a matter of days. Flash droughts can quickly cause widespread damage to agriculture, economies and ecosystems. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Drought Monitoring Department’s report comes just days after Rain flooded a rural Virginia community. Tuesday’s flash floods in Buchanan County tore homes from their foundations and left dozens of people missing soon after.

These events – droughts and flash floods – represent two sides of the climate change coin. In contrast, scientists say the climate crisis will continue to intensify; parts of the United States could fall into a seemingly overnight drought, while another part suffers deadly floods.

Flash drought

Extreme temperatures have covered Southern Plains The past few weeks – with more forecasts – have rapidly exacerbated ongoing drought conditions, particularly in Texas, prompting the US Drought Monitor to declare a rapid drought.

Temperatures have been 5 to 10 degrees above normal in the Lone Star State so far this month. Wednesday was Dallas’ 11th straight day with temperatures reaching 100 degrees – making it one of the city’s longest three-figure record-holders.

Without meaningful rainfall, high temperatures will moisten the soil out of the soil.

Around 94% Texas are in some form of drought this week, which is the largest since 2013, according to Drought Monitor. More than 21% are in extreme drought conditions – the worst classification – up from 16% last week.

“The lack of rainfall we’re seeing across the region has added to the growing drought,” said Bianca Garcia, meteorologist at NWS Ft. Worth mentioning. “Most of our area is in North and Central Texas either in extreme drought or extreme drought.”

The residential marina is located on dry land in Lake Medina outside of San Antonio.

Phillip Ware, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, said Oklahoma is also experiencing “the hottest summer in several years.” And there is no rainfall in the forecast to provide relief.

The heat will accelerate the drying of soil and vegetation, Ware told CNN. “So it will lead to worse drought over time.”

Michael Bowlan, NWS meteorologist in Tulsa, said vegetation is becoming significantly strained in northeast Oklahoma.

“We haven’t had measurable rainfall over most of our forecast areas throughout the last month, so it’s been really dry and really hot,” Bowlan told CNN. “Look out the window right now, the grass and everything is turning brown.”

Bowlan said he didn’t see any meaningful rain for the rest of July and into August in northeastern Oklahoma. He also noted the possibility of record heat in the same period – a combination that would exacerbate drought conditions in that region.

Forecast look at next week shows that much of the country is likely to have higher than normal temperatures with above-average temperatures, with the greatest chance being in the Central United States. Just as worrisome, the region looks set to continue to be deprived of much-needed rain opportunities over the coming week.

Drought develops in New England

Drought has developed beyond Central America over the past few weeks. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont were also hit by flash droughts this week, Drought Monitor reported.

Massachusetts experienced the most severe drought conditions in New England, with about 80% state in moderate or severe drought conditions. Two months ago, there was no drought in the state.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has asked residents to start saving water as 46 percent of the state is experiencing moderate drought this week. The state’s drought working group has declared a phase 2 out of 5 drought, noting that a lack of rain could affect water supplies and agriculture.

“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take reasonable steps to reduce their impact on other water uses and on the environment,” Lamont said. “We must take the first steps now to minimize the potential for harm if the drought persists.”

CNN’s Caitlin Kaiser contributed to this story.

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