A record 56% of the nation is under an official drought, a record for the recording history of the Drought Monitor. Just over three-quarters of the nation is under conditions that are approaching drought status, defined as D1-D4 on the map, which is a beige color.
The drought has been very much enhanced by the historical ridge of high pressure that has been keeping storms to the very ends of the US, shown by the deep drought present in the Southern US.
Relief from the heat is on the horizon, however relief from the drought will not soon come to the Western US, although the Eastern US may reap some benefits of increased precipitation. I can see a potential relapse opportunity into the hot temperatures and high pressure system for the East if the Madden-Julian Oscillation is able to overcome increasingly present El Nino conditions throughout the atmosphere.