US Crop-Ravaging Drought To Worsen in 2013, Says NOAA

The annual spring outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts hotter, drier conditions across much of the US, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, where farmers have been fighting to hang on to crops of winter wheat, reports Suzanne Goldenberg at the UK Guardian. The three-month forecast notes an additional hazard for the midwest: heavy, late snows are setting up conditions for flooding along the Red and Souris rivers in North Dakota.“It’s a mixed bag of flooding, drought and warm weather,” said Laura Furgione, the deputy director of NOAA’s weather. 2012 was the hottest US year since record keeping began more than a century ago, with several weeks in a row of 100+degree days, bringing drought to nearly 65% of the US by summer’s end. The cost of the drought is estimated at above $50bn, greater than the economic damage caused by hurricane Sandy. The drought area has now fallen back somewhat to 51% of the country. But even the heavy snowfalls some parts of the country have seen were not enough to recharge the soil, NOAA scientists said.

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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