Here's some terrible news to mark the beginning of permanent fire season in California: It's going to stay like this, hot and dry, until May. The Climate Prediction Center says winter will come and go without the usual winter storms that provide the snowpack that provides all the water people use. Fire conditions will be awful until summer, when they will continue being awful until next winter, if winter ever shows up again.
While many central and southern states have been dealing with scorching temperatures for days now, it wasn't until this week that the heat wave began spreading east and enveloped the entire country. So just how much of the country is suffering from the sweltering heat? Check out the time-lapse animation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to find out—and turn up the A/C while you're at it! [via Fark]