Friday, July 6, 2012
The punishing heat in the Midwest is expanding and intensifying drought conditions and relief isn’t on the horizon for most areas, according to the National Weather Service.
A report on Thursday said:
Drought conditions are present in 56 percent of the continental U.S., according to the weekly Drought Monitor.
That’s the most in the 12 years that the data have been compiled, topping the previous record of 55 percent set on Aug. 26, 2003. It’s also up five percentage points from the previous week.
The drought hasn’t been long enough to rank up there with the 1930s Dust Bowl or a bad stretch in the 1950s, David Miskus, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center.
The 1930s Dust Bowl were in part created by prolonged drought, coupled with dry and bare soil conditions. These immense dust storms affected 100,000,000 acres and covered an area stretching from Texas to Oklahoma and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.
Millions of acres of farmland were destroyed, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.