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- A period of unusually low rainfall, longer and more severe than a dry spell.
- 2012 January 1, Donald Worster, “A Drier and Hotter Future”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 70:
- Phoenix and Lubbock are both caught in severe drought, and it is going to get much worse. We may see many such [dust] storms in the decades ahead, along with species extinctions, radical disturbance of ecosystems, and intensified social conflict over land and water. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the epoch when humans have become a major geological and climatic force.
- (by extension, informal) A longer than expected term without success, particularly in sport.
period of unusually low rain fall