A Wild Winter: West Breaks Snow Records, Tornadoes Hit South, Midwest

Mar 7, 2023

Drought Across the Continental US

The winter of 2022-2023 has already bucked its share of traditions. The pattern will only continue this week. California is getting ready for more snow. The Midwest is facing the aftermath of tornadoes. The Northeast has been wondering where the snow went. 

The Sierra Nevada region of California is expected to get another 18 inches of snow through the middle of the week. If that happens, the mountains will have gotten 16 feet of snow since late February. As of Monday, the eastern part of the state had already gotten 48.33 feet of snow for the season. That's a record. Those totals have been good for drought-stricken California. NOAA estimates that the snow has pulled almost half of the state out of official drought status.

Much of the South and Midwest is facing power outages after a series of tornadoes. 12 people were killed. 1.2 million lost power in Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee over the weekend, CNN reported.

In New England, snow has been scarce. A storm expected early next week could bring up to five inches to parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It won’t be enough to allow the dozens of ice fishing tournaments, ski resort seasons, and dog sled races that have been canceled to come back. It could, though, raise the total amount of snowfall in areas used to the occasional blanket of white. 

Boston is 27.6 inches off its average snowfall total. New York is down nearly two feet. Philadelphia has only recorded 0.3 inches of snow. In the past, the city has averaged 19.2 inches.

Based on information in the infographic, which portion of the US is currently experiencing the most severe drought conditions? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. northeast
b. southeast
c. central and southwest
d. northwest
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