OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Climate experts say the drought affecting more than half
of the nation will persist in the Great Plains and West through the spring
and spread over more of California, Texas and Florida.
Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís Climate
Prediction Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln released their latest predictions Thursday.
Currently, 56 percent of the continental U.S. is covered by a drought in one
of the three worst stages. Thatís an improvement from last summer, when the
drought covered two-thirds of the nation.
But the February-through-May drought forecast predicts conditions will
worsen this spring.
And NOAA climatologist Dan Collins says below-average precipitation is
expected this spring in most Western states and the southeastern United