FORT WORTH, TX (AP) - Weather experts say an extreme drought that has gripped parts of 9 states is expected to drag on for several months or intensify.
Portions of Texas and a small part of western Louisiana are the only parts of the nation that rank in the National Weather Service's worst drought condition category.
The rest of Texas and Louisiana also are very parched, as are parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida.
Weather experts say May could be the last chance for relief. That's because May typically brings the most rainfall in some of the bone-dry states, including Texas and Oklahoma.
The dry conditions have already led to wildfires in Texas, New Mexico and Florida.