To identify the states with the worst drought, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on weekly drought conditions from the U.S. Drought Monitor of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. States were ranked based on the percentage of land area currently in extreme or exceptional drought conditions as of the week ending May 9, 2022. In 18 states, some portion of their landmass was in extreme or exceptional drought conditions as of the week ending May 9, 2022.
Supplemental data on the population living in areas with extreme or exceptional drought conditions in each state, data used to calculate the week with the largest percentage of land area in extreme or exceptional drought since 2010, and the county with the largest percentage of land area in extreme or exceptional drought as of May 9, 2022, also came from the U.S. Drought Monitor. In the case of a tie, the county with the largest total land area was considered the driest county.
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