Speed Reads


99.8 percent of California suffering from 'severe' drought

Since last year, California has been faced with one of the most extreme droughts in state history. The situation has become so dire that 99.8 percent of the state is now experiencing "severe" drought, according to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Incredibly, that 99.8 percent figure is actually an improvement from May, when fully 100 percent of the state was classified as facing severe drought.

That said, the state has become significantly more parched overall as the year has gone on. Almost 82 percent of California faces "extreme" drought, the next-highest category, up from 77 percent three months ago. In that same time span, the share of the state withering amid "exceptional" drought — the highest rating — has more than doubled to 58.4 percent, from about 25 percent.