15 June 2011

A map of the current U.S. drought

According to NOAA's Drought Monitor, 8 states from New Mexico to Florida are experiencing an exceptional drought - the most severe drought possible. Portions of Texas are running 20"+ below normal in the rainfall department since last autumn.
I wonder if this is contributing to the apparent near-absence of Monarch butterflies here in Wisconsin so far.  This time last year we had large caterpillars already undergoing metamorphosis; this year we haven't seen even a single egg on our bumper crop of 200+ milkweed plants.  The spring has been unusually wet and cool, but our early spring population migrates up via the Texas flyway, so perhaps the problems occurred there rather than in the Mexican mountains.

Via Paul Douglas' excellent On Weather blog.

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