Drought continues to expands across American Southwest

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Drought is stiffening its hold across the American Southwest as extreme conditions spread across Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.

The federal drought map released Thursday shows dry conditions intensifying.

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, nearly half of New Mexico and Arizona are facing extreme drought or worst conditions while around 60 percent of Utah is under severe drought.

On the southern high plains, Oklahoma remains ground zero right now for the worst drought conditions in the United States. About 20 percent of the state is facing exceptional drought conditions – the worst possible classification.

Most of Colorado also is under severe drought and almost all of the Texas Panhandle is seeing extreme drought or worse conditions.

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