Phillips County, Arkansas on Sept. 28, 2019. Southern Arkansas is experiencing abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein via Getty Images

High temperatures and fast-acting dry spells in the South reported last week have boiled over into a "flash drought" blasting 56 million people with dry heat, AP reports.

What's happening: Parts of Georgia, Texas, Alabama and South Carolina are currently in extreme drought zones, while most of the South is in an abnormally dry or moderate to severe drought. Farmers are concerned "that cattle, cotton and corn are suffering after a summer of record highs and very little rain," per AP.

  • Rain in the Southeast became scarce approximately 10 weeks ago, the New York Times reports.
  • Most fields in affected states — like Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and West Virginia — are in either poor or very poor condition, according to the latest crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What's next: The monthly U.S. drought outlook indicates the drought is expected to persist through October in most affected states.

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What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Amy Coney Barrett: "Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me"

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Olivier Douleiry/Getty Images

In speaking after President Trump announced her as the Supreme Court nominee to replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett said on Saturday she will be "mindful" of those who came before her on the court if confirmed.

What she's saying: Barrett touched on Ginsburg's legacy, as well as her own judicial philosophy and family values. "I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution," she said. "I'm truly humbled at the prospect of serving on the  Supreme Court."