West Virginia, 8 least drought-ridden state, according to Stacker

Lists and Rankings

In this Monday, July 26, 2021, photograph, an experimental bore head is shown on the Terry Bison Ranch south of Cheyenne, Wyo. Figures released this month show that population growth continues unabated in the South and West, even as temperatures rise and droughts become more common. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Stacker has concluded that West Virginia is the eight least drought-ridden state in America.

Due in no small part to climate change, weather disasters have become a more frequent problem for people in vulnerable areas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA have both said that global warming has resulted in the past decade being the hottest on record.

Droughts are some of the most economically disastrous events that can occur. The estimated losses due to drought are around $9 billion per year.

With this in mind, Stacker has ranked each state based on “the average percentage of the state land that experienced drought conditions in the 20-year period from 2000 to March 2021, using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM).”

The categories included use a five point scale ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought.”

West Virginia by the numbers

– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 4,972 sq. mi. (20.5% of land area); 370,184 people (20.0% of population)
— Moderate drought: 1,108 sq. mi. (4.6% of land area); 88,510 people (4.8% of population)
— Severe drought: 251 sq. mi. (1.0% of land area); 20,334 people (1.1% of population)
— Extreme drought: 33 sq. mi. (0.1% of land area); 2,929 people (0.2% of population)
— Exceptional drought: zero sq. mi.; no people

In the fall of 2019, West Virginia was experiencing drought conditions. That was the last widespread drought to have emerged in West Virginia.

The entire national list can be found here.

Most drought-ridden states

#1. Arizona
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 87,702 sq. mi. (76.9% of land area); 4,867,057 people (76.1% of population)
#2. Nevada
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 78,717 sq. mi. (71.2% of land area); 1,942,485 people (71.9% of population)
#3. New Mexico
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 84,806 sq. mi. (69.8% of land area); 1,455,107 people (70.7% of population)

Least drought-ridden states

#1. Ohio
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 6,631 sq. mi. (16.1% of land area); 1,815,050 people (15.7% of population)
#2. Alaska
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 95,420 sq. mi. (16.4% of land area); 159,582 people (23.2% of population)
#3. New York
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 8,721 sq. mi. (18.0% of land area); 4,174,482 people (21.5% of population)

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