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Authorities identify man who died in fiery crash on Interstate 29 south of Grand Forks

Weather Talk: Drought is spreading across the South

Drought conditions are increasing throughout much of the southern U.S.

Amarillo, Texas, has received no measurable precipitation since Oct. 13. Severe drought conditions persist across New Mexico, southern Colorado, northern Texas and Oklahoma.

Without a change in the pattern, much of this region is likely to have a severe fire season later this spring into summer.

Dry conditions also persist across many areas of the southeastern U.S., particularly in Alabama. Further west, California has received very little precipitation this winter and is poised to slide back into severe drought following a promisingly wet winter a year ago.

Even the area around Houston, Texas, where 30-50 inches of rain fell in five days during Hurricane Harvey in late August, including a single-storm record for North America of 51.88 inches at Cedar Bayou, is about 10 inches below average since Sept. 1.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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