#11. Texas



– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 142,719 sq. mi. (53.8% of land area); 12,176,144 people (48.4% of population)

— Moderate drought: 98,425 sq. mi. (37.1% of land area); 8,279,531 people (32.9% of population)

— Severe drought: 59,434 sq. mi. (22.4% of land area); 4,717,171 people (18.8% of population)

— Extreme drought: 28,778 sq. mi. (10.9% of land area); 2,214,296 people (8.8% of population)

— Exceptional drought: 10,827 sq. mi. (4.1% of land area); 883,828 people (3.5% of population)

Crops and livestock are facing tough times in Texas, where more than 90% of the state is abnormally dry, and significant portions are experiencing much more severe conditions. In 2011, an astonishing nearly 88% of Texas was suffering under exceptional drought conditions, the most dangerous classification. Drought has been a familiar part of life in Texas for generations—one of the worst droughts on record took place there in the 1950s. More recently, climatologists have been warning officials to prepare for future “megadroughts” that might last a decade or more in the Lone Star state.