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Drought, the everything disaster

It develops in stages, a story that builds upon itself. A few cloudless days. Then a rain-free week. Soon a hot, dry month.

Now the hills are brown and the crops need watering — the first signs of drought.

The intensely dry conditions that have settled over the American West and Upper Midwest this year are well past the brown hills stage. Nearly 89 percent of nine western states are in some form of drought, and more than a quarter of the region is considered in exceptional drought, the worst category in the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Read more from Brett Walton from Circle of Blue here.