United States Drought Monitor released June 23, 2015

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.govView Originalu.s.drtmon6.23.2015
The U.S. Drought Monitor is unique, blending numeric measures of drought and experts’ best judgment into a single map every week. It started in 1999 as a federal, state, and academic partnership, growing out of a Western Governors’ Association initiative to provide timely and understandable scientific information on water supply and drought for policymakers.

The Monitor is produced by a rotating group of authors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. It incorporates review from a group of 250 climatologists, extension agents, and others across the nation. Each week the author revises the previous map based on rain, snow and other events, observers’ reports of how drought is affecting crops, wildlife and other indicators. Authors balance conflicting data and reports to come up with a new map every Wednesday afternoon. It is released the following Thursday morning.

Visit the US Drought Monitor for the current drought conditions by merely touching or inserting the following line in your Adobe .pdf browser: 20150623_usdm.pdf

The Map shows conditions as of  8 a.m.,Tuesday,June 23, 2015.  Areas shown in a wine-red/brownish color as in California are calculated to be “Exceptionally Dry.”  Spots of yellow throughout the nation indicate “Abnormally Dry” conditions.

The Chesapeake Bay from the Air (5 minutes)

http://youtu.be/FpJz1wsF6Z8.

The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia.  Encompassing over 4,479 square miles, it is the largest such body of water in the United States.  More than 150 rivers and streams flow into this estuary.

The Bay has become environmentally challenged by the agricultural economies surrounding it.    Over the past several decades, run offs from chemicals used in farming have dramatically reduced oyster and crab populations and lost a generation of “watermen” whose livelihoods have depended on this food source for centuries.

Click the underlined link above for a five-minute video of a tour of the Chesapeake Bay from the air.