Inside Climate News discusses how Drought Fears Take Hold in a Four Corners Region Already Beset by the Coronavirus Pandemic. The landscape where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet is withering again as the pandemic persists.
Drought is once again front-of-mind for rural leaders like Mineral County Commissioner Ramona Weber, who’s been talking with colleagues about the threat of water shortages and heightened wildfire risk. It’s also something New Mexico farmer Jim Enote has thought about this year while using his hands to check the soil’s temperature and moisture before planting, following the age-old habit of his Zuni ancestors.
In the wake of new research on megadrought in the West, and after an exceptionally dry spring, the Four Corners region is headed into the summer of 2020 with deep uncertainty. On top of the disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, summer forecasts suggest yet more heat waves, wildfire and water supply shortages.
The American West is well on its way into one of the worst megadroughts on record, a new study warns, a dry period that could last for centuries and spread from Oregon and Montana, through the Four Corners and into West Texas and northern Mexico.