November 22, 2012
A tree trunk rests on the bed of a dried lake, the outcome of severe drought, in Waterloo, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that 60.1 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The portion of the lower 48 states in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — also rose, to 19.04 percent from last week's 18.3 percent.
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The worst U.S. drought in decades has deepened again after more than a month of encouraging reports of slowly improving conditions, a drought-tracking consortium said Wednesday, as scientists struggled for an explanation other than a simple lack of rain.