Published on November 9th, 2012 | by James Ayre4
U.S. Drought Worsening, Wheat Crop Suffering
As the East Coast is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, hot and dry conditions throughout middle America have been deepening, worsening the ongoing drought there, according to a new climatology report released Thursday.
Usually, October is the third-wettest month of the year for Texas, but this year there has barely been any rain at all. Last month was the ninth-driest October there since 1895.
Both Texas and Oklahoma have recorded temperatures that are above “normal” and have received practically no rain. And Kansas and Nebraska have also seen the droughts that they are experiencing expand.
These long-persisting droughts have limited the growth of the new winter wheat crop in those states, “as soil moisture levels were too low to spur normal plant development. Grazing for livestock was also poor as pastures remained parched.”
“Roughly 59.48 percent of the contiguous United States was suffering from at least ‘moderate’ drought as of November 6, down from 60.16 percent a week earlier, according to Thursday’s Drought Monitor, a weekly compilation of data gathered by federal and academic scientists.”
The section of the US that is now under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought has risen though, up to 19.36 percent from 19.04 percent.
“In the High Plains, which include Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas, severe or worse drought levels covered 83.94 percent of the region, up from 83.87 percent of the region a week earlier. An estimated 57.54 percent of the region was in extreme or worse drought, up from 57.02 percent a week earlier.”
Many places have not seen any, or barely any, rain in the past three weeks or more. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels have been continuing to plummet. And surface water supplies have been continuing to drop sharply, with no end in sight. As the climatologists say, we are entering a “new normal.”