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After Dry Winter, Most of Utah in Drought Status

National Integrated Drought Information System
A map released by the National Integrated Drought Information System shows southeastern Utah in D3, or extreme, drought status.

This winter’s dry weather is hitting the state of Utah hard. The Salt Lake tribune reports 94 percent of the state is in drought status as of this month. In southeastern Utah, the U.S Drought Monitor has classified the dry conditions as “extreme.” Precipitation in the region is slightly over 50 percent of normal.  This year is one of the five driest years on record for the state at large, and Governor Gary Herbert has encouraged people of all faiths to pray for rain. The dry weather has affected other parts of the region, as well. Montezuma County is also in “extreme” drought status, and the Navajo Nation passed a drought declaration at the beginning of March.

Austin Cope is a former Morning Edition host for KSJD and now produces work on a freelance basis for the station. He grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, northern Wyoming, and Himachal Pradesh, India before returning to the Cortez area. He has a degree in Politics from Oberlin College in Ohio.
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