Drought conditions are increasing throughout much of the southern U.S.
Amarillo, Texas, has received no measurable precipitation since Oct. 13. Severe drought conditions persist across New Mexico, southern Colorado, northern Texas and Oklahoma.
Without a change in the pattern, much of this region is likely to have a severe fire season later this spring into summer.
Dry conditions also persist across many areas of the southeastern U.S., particularly in Alabama. Further west, California has received very little precipitation this winter and is poised to slide back into severe drought following a promisingly wet winter a year ago.
Even the area around Houston, Texas, where 30-50 inches of rain fell in five days during Hurricane Harvey in late August, including a single-storm record for North America of 51.88 inches at Cedar Bayou, is about 10 inches below average since Sept. 1.