Drought takes hold on US

JIM SUHR
Last updated 08:00 17/07/2012

Relevant offers

Americas

Top guns battle it out at US national spelling bee The 'nightmare' superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the US One dead, three wounded in shootings at during TI concert in New York 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle's truthfulness is in question once again Trump fires political director after Nevada is crucially missed out of deal American GI Joe defected to North Korea, now his sons are propaganda stars Hillary Clinton email set-up broke federal rules states inspector general's report Melbourne rugby player arrested in Los Angeles hotel room Solar-powered airplane lands in Pennsylvania Free smartphone app gets US drink-driver off charges

The drought gripping the United States is the widest since 1956, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fifty-five per cent of the continental US was in a moderate-to-extreme drought by the end of June, NOAA's National Climactic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, said in its monthly State of the Climate drought report. That's the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 per cent of America was covered by drought.

This summer, 80 per cent of the US is abnormally dry, and the report said the drought expanded in the West, Great Plains and Midwest last month with the 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record.

America's corn and soybean belt has been hit especially hard over the past three months, the report said. That region has experienced its seventh warmest and 10th driest April-to-June period.

"Topsoil has dried out and crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at a rate rarely seen in the last 18 years," the report said.

The report is based on a data set going back to 1895 called the Palmer Drought Index, which feeds into the widely watched and more detailed US Drought Monitor. It reported last week that 61 per cent of the continental

US was in a moderate-to-exceptional drought. However, the weekly Drought Monitor goes back only 12 years, so climatologists use the Palmer Drought Index for comparing droughts before 2000.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content