Droughts and Heat Waves

Report: Drought expands; Oklahoma sees worst conditions

Drought is tightening its grip across the American Southwest as extreme conditions spread from Oklahoma to Utah, according to new federal data released Thursday.

On the southern high plains, Oklahoma remains ground zero for the worst drought conditions in the United States. About 20 percent of the state is facing exceptional drought conditions — the worst possible classification.

Most of Colorado also is under severe drought and almost all of the Texas Panhandle is seeing extreme drought or worse conditions.

The federal drought map shows dry conditions have expanded in Arizona and intensified across northern New Mexico.

Royce Fontenot, a senior hydrologist with...