#26. Arkansas



– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 18,544 sq. mi. (34.9% of land area); 1,019,040 people (34.9% of population)

— Moderate drought: 9,965 sq. mi. (18.7% of land area); 532,590 people (18.3% of population)

— Severe drought: 4,614 sq. mi. (8.7% of land area); 238,895 people (8.2% of population)

— Extreme drought: 1,474 sq. mi. (2.8% of land area); 78,133 people (2.7% of population)

— Exceptional drought: 232 sq. mi. (0.4% of land area); 13,294 people (0.5% of population)

Extreme dry spells baked the state in the late 2000s and the early 2010s, but even that was insignificant to the drought of 1930–31. That historic event struck eight southern states, but none worse than Arkansas, where record low rainfall and record high temperatures piled onto the calamities of the 1929 stock market crash, the flood of 1927, and an outbreak of deadly tornadoes.