Latest Droughts News

This combination of photos shows a firefighter at the North Complex Fire in Plumas National Forest, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, left, and a person using a flashlight on flooded streets in search of their vehicle, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Pensacola, Fla. In the past week, swaths of the country have been burning and flooding in devastating extreme weather disasters. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, Gerald Herbert)

Underwater and on fire: US climate change magnifies extremes

Sep. 19, 2020 10:37 AM EDT

America's worsening climate change problem is as polarized as its politics. Some parts of the country have been burning this month while others were underwater in extreme weather disasters. The already parched West is getting drier and suffering deadly wildfires because of it, while the much wetter East keeps...

FILE - In this July 27, 2012 file photo, wild blueberries await harvesting in Warren, Maine. The state's wild blueberry crop suffered in 2020 due to drought and a lack of labor caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Maine blueberry industry reels from drought, frost, virus

Sep. 19, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A late spring frost, a devastating drought and labor troubles wrought by the coronavirus pandemic conspired to make 2020 a difficult year for the wild blueberry producers who harvest the fruit in the nation's northeastern corner. America's producers of wild blueberries are largely...

FILE - In this July 20, 2014 file photo, a bathtub ring of light minerals shows the high water line near Hoover Dam on Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. Six states in the U.S. West that rely on the Colorado River to sustain cities and farms rebuked a plan to build an underground pipeline that would transport billions of gallons of water through the desert to southwest Utah. In a joint letter Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, water officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming urged the U.S. government to halt the approval process for the project, which would bring water 140 miles (225 km) from Lake Powell in northern Arizona to the growing area surrounding St. George, Utah. (AP Photo/John Locher,File)

Water shortages in US West likelier than previously thought

Sep. 15, 2020 8:13 PM EDT

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — There's a chance water levels in the two largest man-made reservoirs in the United States could dip to critically low levels by 2025, jeopardizing the steady flow of Colorado River water that more than 40 million people rely on in the American West. After a relatively dry summer,...

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2020, file photo, a firefighter watches a brush fire at the Apple Fire in Cherry Valley, Calif. La Nina, which often means a busier Atlantic hurricane season, a drier Southwest and perhaps a more fire-prone California, has popped up in the Pacific Ocean, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday, Sept. 10. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Q&A: La Nina may bring more Atlantic storms, western drought

Sep. 10, 2020 3:51 PM EDT

La Nina — which often means a busier Atlantic hurricane season, a drier Southwest and perhaps a more fire-prone California — has popped up in the Pacific Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that a La Nina, the cooler flip side of the better known El Nino,...

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2020, file photo, a firefighter battles the Creek Fire as it threatens homes in the Cascadel Woods neighborhood of Madera County, Calif. Climate-connected disasters seem everywhere in the crazy year 2020. But scientists Wednesday, Sept. 9, say it'll get worse. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Think 2020's disasters are wild? Experts see worse in future

Sep. 9, 2020 6:53 PM EDT

A record amount of California is burning, spurred by a nearly 20-year mega-drought. To the north, parts of Oregon that don’t usually catch fire are in flames. Meanwhile, the Atlantic’s 16th and 17th named tropical storms are swirling, a record number for this time of year. Powerful Typhoon...

FILE - This March 26, 2019, file photo, shows a bathtub ring of light minerals showing the high water mark of the reservoir which has shrunk to its lowest point on the Colorado River, as seen from the Hoover Dam, Ariz. Six states in the U.S. West that rely on the Colorado River to sustain cities and farms rebuked a plan to build an underground pipeline that would transport billions of gallons of water through the desert to southwest Utah. In a joint letter Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, water officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming urged the U.S. government to halt the approval process for the project, which would bring water 140 miles (225 km) from Lake Powell in northern Arizona to the growing area surrounding St. George, Utah.(AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

6 Western states blast Utah plan to tap Colorado River water

Sep. 9, 2020 5:58 PM EDT

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Six states in the U.S. West that rely on the Colorado River to sustain cities and farms rebuked a plan to build an underground pipeline that would transport billions of gallons of water through the desert to southwest Utah. In a joint letter Tuesday, water officials from Arizona,...

Panama calls for bids on $2 billion water-shortage project

Sep. 8, 2020 7:42 PM EDT

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The Panama Canal authority has put out a call for bids on a $2 billion package of water supply projects aimed at combating a drought that affects the fresh water lakes that supply the canal's locks. The projects will seek alternatives for the water currently supplied by the Gatun and...

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 file photo, flames from the River Fire crest a ridge in Salinas, Calif. In California, a Mediterranean climate sets up ideal conditions for fire then is worsened by climate change, says University of California, Merced, fire scientist LeRoy Westerling, who has had his home threatened twice in the last few years. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Science Says: Climate change, people stoke California fires

Aug. 20, 2020 1:23 PM EDT

If you want to build a fire, you need three things: Ignition, fuel and oxygen. But wildfire in California is a much more complex people-stoked witch’s brew. The state burns regularly because of fierce autumn winds, invasive grasses that act as kindling, fire-happy native shrubs and trees, frequent drought...

US West faces reckoning over water but avoids cuts for now

Aug. 14, 2020 3:47 PM EDT

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The white rings that wrap around two massive lakes in the U.S. West are a stark reminder of how water levels are dropping and a warning that the 40 million people who rely on the Colorado River face a much drier future. Amid prolonged drought and climate change in a region that's...

Agency determines all of Colorado abnormally dry, in drought

Aug. 7, 2020 1:10 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — Gov. Jared Polis has activated Colorado's drought plan to track impacts, save water, coordinate local responses and help hard-hit farmers following a federal assessment that determined that the state is abnormally dry or in drought for the first time in eight years. The finding is consistent...