US Drought Now Officially Among The Worst In American History May Intensify In The Months Ahead
The National Climatic Data Center reported this week that 57.2% of the contiguous USA is ‘moderately to extremely dry,’ a percentage topped only during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and during another drought in the mid-1950s.
We’ve got a long way to go to reach the Dust Bowl, though: At one point, in July 1934, a phenomenal 79.9% of the country was moderately or extremely dry.
Recent rainfall came too late to help the withered U.S. corn crop already being harvested in many parts of the country, but it kept the strongest drought in decades from worsening in several key Midwest and Plains states.
The U.S. is the world’s leading producer of corn, wheat and soybeans, and the drought raised widespread concern about higher food prices.
Unfortunately, the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. drought outlook issued last week points to drought conditions lingering or intensifying over most of the nation in the months ahead.” Source – USA Today.
Drought of 2012 Conjures Up Dust Bowl Memories, Raises Questions for Tomorrow – “Over 63% of the contiguous United States in early September was suffering moderate to exceptional drought, nearly twice the land affected a year ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Using July data, the National Climatic Data Center reported that America is in the midst of its most expansive drought since December 1956. The combination of dry conditions and extreme heat — including hundreds of record-breaking temperatures this summer — has been unbearable for many. The drought’s impact has been seen in ways big and small, from leaves falling early and lawns turning brown to farmers giving up and lakes drying up, exposing hundreds of dead fish.” Read more.
From Dry Rivers to Dead Deer, Drought’s Impact Felt Everywhere – “Well before Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana and brought localized heavy flooding, the weather story of the summer was not about an abundance of water — it was the lack thereof. And it still is. Farmers and residents in 40 states know this all too well, as this summer’s blend of low rainfall and extreme heat has created a crisis for many. Over a recent six-week stretch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 1,692 counties as disaster areas due to the drought. The department notes about 80% of agricultural land in the country is affected, making this year’s drought more far-reaching than any since the 1950s. The impact has been felt by farmers and ranchers nationwide, but they’re hardly alone.” Read more.