Drought deepens in South; Texas driest in century

KANSAS CITY, Missouri Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:09am EDT

The dried south fork of Lake Arlington is seen near Bowman Springs Park, where park personnel indicated the water level was nine feet below normal, in Arlington, Texas August 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone

The dried south fork of Lake Arlington is seen near Bowman Springs Park, where park personnel indicated the water level was nine feet below normal, in Arlington, Texas August 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - A devastating drought deepened over the last week in many areas, spreading through more of the Plains and going into the Midwest as triple-digit temperatures baked already thirsty crops and livestock.

The Corn Belt states of South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana saw drought develop quickly as the important corn-growing region got only spotty rainfall amid the high heat, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, produced by a consortium of national climate experts.

Abnormal dryness intensified to moderate drought over the last week, according to the report.

Texas remained the epicenter of unprecedented drought, with climate data showing the state suffering its driest 10 months ever in over a century of data.

Levels of "extreme" and "exceptional" drought grew to 94.27 percent of the state from 91.73 percent over the last week, Drought Monitor reported.

"This is unprecedented territory, as the precipitation deficits mount, and triple-digit temperatures continue to increase water demand," it said.

Since January, Texas has received only 40 percent of its normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.

Oklahoma also saw conditions worsen, with extreme and exceptional drought now spread through 92.88 percent of the state, up from 88.10 percent.

The deadly drought and triple-digit temperatures have broken numerous records and left the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley struggling to meet demand for power and water, while causing billions of dollars in damage to crops and livestock.

Weather experts attribute the drought to last year's La Nina, the weather anomaly which is typically followed by about a 10 percent drop in precipitation.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by John Picinich)

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Comments (9)
CDN_Rebel wrote:
I guess God doesn’t listen to Gov Rick Perry…

This year must just be an amazing series of sunspots, la nina, socialism and abortion to cause the drought – certainly not climate change or any nonsense like that – and the obvious course of action is secession. Go Longhorns!

Aug 11, 2011 11:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
They need to get used to it… this will not get better in next 100 yrs… i am concerned about my t-bone steak… otherwise Texans bring this on themselves by creating wars all around the world and killing 100s of thousands innocent people… back bone!!!! of USA is crumbling… funny…

Aug 11, 2011 12:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dyota wrote:
You are missing the Elephant in the room, and he is staring right at you. His name is Green Gas Induced Global Warming . You can thank Pe_rry who wants the EPA barred from regulating C02

Aug 11, 2011 12:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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