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The following points summarize the current drought status across the United States:
• It is estimated that more than 500,000 people in central North Carolina are still under mandatory water restrictions.
• Despite considerable snow in the usual lake-effect areas surrounding the Great Lakes, the snow-to-water ratios have been higher than normal, thereby bringing little relief to the existing drought areas. The Great Lakes continue to remain at levels well below normal.
• Texas and adjacent areas of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana continue to experience a major drought, with significant areas in severe, extreme and exceptional intensity classifications. Michael Hayes, of the National Drought Mitigation Center, wrote, “Burn bans continue to exist across all of Oklahoma and a large part of Texas, lake levels continue to fall, hay supplies for livestock are very low, and many stock ponds are completely dry.” Many districts in these areas are expected to break records for low precipitation.
The report indicated that, in some areas, more farmers were investing in drought-resistant crops, with the expectation that the current drought will continue into 2006.
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor