The graph shown above does not disprove the conclusion that Most of the Western U.S. is entering a period of long-term drought conditions that will probably get worse. The focus is mostly on the Southwestern portion of the U.S. but most of the West will be affected. The 20th century precipitation in the Western U.S.was unusually high. According to the article published in Science magazine and reported on by CBS, the megadrought started about 20 years ago. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-drought-california-western-united-states-study/ "Another interesting finding in the research: The 20th century was the wettest century in the entire 1,200-year record. So the conditions we may think of as "normal" were actually a historical fluke. "The 20th century gave us an overly optimistic view of how much water is potentially available," said co-author Benjamin Cook." What separates this drought from past megadroughts is that the natural dry cycle is magnified by a warming climate. This has caused the modern megadrought to impact an even wider area than any of the past ones. Climate change has boosted temperatures in this part of the West upward by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 20 years. Since warmer air holds more moisture, extra moisture is increasingly being drawn from the ground, intensifying drying soils. The researchers say rising temperatures due to human-caused climate change are responsible for about half the pace and severity of the current drought. Since regional temperatures in the West are projected to keep rising, this trend is likely to continue. Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought Science Magazine April 2020 https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6488/314 Global warming has pushed what would have been a moderate drought in southwestern North America into megadrought territory. Williams et al. used a combination of hydrological modeling and tree-ring reconstructions of summer soil moisture to show that the period from 2000 to 2018 was the driest 19-year span since the late 1500s and the second driest since 800 CE (see the Perspective by Stahle). This appears to be just the beginning of a more extreme trend toward megadrought as global warming continues. Abstract: Severe and persistent 21st-century drought in southwestern North America (SWNA) motivates comparisons to medieval megadroughts and questions about the role of anthropogenic climate change. We use hydrological modeling and new 1200-year tree-ring reconstructions of summer soil moisture to demonstrate that the 2000–2018 SWNA drought was the second driest 19-year period since 800 CE, exceeded only by a late-1500s megadrought. The megadrought-like trajectory of 2000–2018 soil moisture was driven by natural variability superimposed on drying due to anthropogenic warming. Anthropogenic trends in temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation estimated from 31 climate models account for 46% (model interquartiles of 34 to 103%) of the 2000–2018 drought severity, pushing an otherwise moderate drought onto a trajectory comparable to the worst SWNA megadroughts since 800 CE.