The widest drought to grip the United States in 50 years is getting worse with no signs of abating. Government agencies report that 71 percent of the country is experiencing "abnormally dry" conditions since June, double the area as last summer—when, for perspective, the drought resulted in $12 billion of losses in the Southern Plains and Southwest. Some climatologists are referring to this year's drought as a "flash drought" because lack of rainfall has led to drought conditions over a few months, rather than over seasons or years.
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