hat’s particularly “interesting” about the situation is how quickly the drought developed. It arose over just the last ~3 months — hence the phrase “flash drought” — and it quickly worsened. The US Drought Monitor recently upgraded the drought to “exceptional” — matching the intensity of the relatively recent drought in California, but developing over a shorter period of time.
These so-called flash droughts are expected to become considerably more common over the coming decades as the climate continues warming and weather patterns continue changing.
The area now being affected (the High Plains), it should be remembered, are expected to essentially turn to desert over the coming decades and centuries — as the region has before, at various points in the past. So, this is just a sign of things to come. The fact that groundwater levels are rapidly falling as well in many places, due to overuse for irrigation, is something that also needs to be taken into account.