More than 90% of the state falls under the two designations. 
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Louisiana Drought
Credit: Courtesy of U.S. National Integrated Drought Information System

The people of Louisiana are hoping April showers come sooner rather than later this year. The entire state is experiencing at least "moderate" drought, with 90.3% of the state falling into the "severe" and "extreme" drought categorizations, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought classifications are measured in five levels: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought, and exceptional drought. In the "severe drought" stage, grass does not grow, the ground is cracking, grazing forage is lost, trees are stressed, and creek and bayou water levels are low. In the "extreme drought" stage, rice crops become expensive to maintain, soybean yields are reduced, rye growth is stunted, saltwater intrudes into rivers making rivers too salty for irrigation, trees are stressed, and the crawfish population declines. Additionally, voluntary water restrictions are requested, the air quality can be poor, and firework and burn bans are often enacted.  

Currently, the area hit hardest by the drought is southwest Louisiana, which is experiencing "extreme drought".  The scope and scale of the drought is quickly expanding east into southeast Louisiana and Mississippi along the Mississippi River with a "severe drought" distinction. 

The South has experienced dry weather conditions for the past several weeks, and warming temperatures are expected to exacerbate the problem. From November to February, Louisiana experienced its second driest period for those four months since 1895, with less than 10 inches of precipitation recorded statewide. 

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Louisiana is desperate need of some spring showers, but there could be relief on the way! There forecast shows a significant chance of rain across the state this week, which could improve conditions. We've got our fingers crossed for buckets!