"Winter precipitation amounts were not enough to significantly improve conditions in much of the country, government scientists said."
"Drought conditions are likely to continue across more than half of the continental United States through at least June, straining water supplies and increasing the risk of wildfires, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday.
Nearly 60 percent of the continental United States is experiencing drought, which is the largest part since 2013, NOAA said in issuing its spring outlook, a broad climatic forecast for April, May and June. While these conditions are not new, the agency expects them to worsen and spread in the coming months because of above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation.
That is a turn back in the wrong direction after a winter in which some drought-stricken Western states had seen improvement. And while those states remain in better shape than they were last summer, some states in the Southern Plains are in significantly worse shape."