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20.0%

of the US and 23.9% of the lower 48 states.

55.8 million

people in the U.S. and 55.7 in the lower 48 states.

As of December 6-December 12:

Conditions were dry and windy across much of the western United States over this past drought week, December 5-12. Wildfires, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, destroyed hundreds of structures and burned well over 100,000 acres, enhancing the state’s deadliest and costliest wildfire year on record. An unprecedented purple flag (wind) warning was posted on the 8th. Red flag warnings were posted from Colorado to Illinois on the 11th. Daily temperatures were above average across the western two-thirds of the U.S., particularly notable across the Southwest stretching into the High Plains. Snow fell across the South and Southeast, a rarity in many places, including southern Texas eastward into Georgia. The storm unexpectedly dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of northern Georgia and North Carolina, with at least several inches widely reported. Temperatures were as much as 15-25°F below average from parts of the Southern Plains to the Gulf Coast. Overall, with respect to drought, continued lack of moisture led to more degradation across parts of the West, Missouri River Basin, Midwest, and the South. A few areas improved, mainly in some of the far southern areas, where plentiful precipitation fell this past week.