(AP) Over half the contiguous U.S. was in drought at the beginning of May, government climate officials reported Monday, while wildfire season began earlier, and the tornado count has been above average. The figure from the U.S. Drought Monitor — that 53.8 percent of the lower 48 states was in drought — is technically an improvement from a dramatic low in March, when the figure stood above 60 percent. But so far this year, more land in the continental U.S. has received less rainfall than expected than in any other year since 2012. The consequences of the megadrought are increasingly…

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