Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Could Break the Drought? A Hurricane Would Be Nice (88% of Corn Areas in Drought)

From the USDA:
Approximately 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. is within an area experiencing drought, based on historical NASS crop production data.
 (Click to enlarge)

...The drought of 2012 has rapidly expanded and intensified, covering 64% of the contiguous United States – according to the U.S. Drought Monitor – by July 17.  Three months ago, that figure stood at 37%, and at the beginning of the year, only 28% of the lower 48 states had drought coverage.

Even more dramatic change in drought coverage has occurred in the Midwest.  The latest Drought Monitor indicated that 88% of the U.S. corn and 87% of the soybeans were within an area experiencing drought.  As recently as early June, less than 20% of the corn and soybeans were considered to be in a drought area....
Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky have been hardest hit:

Data obtained from preliminary National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) weekly crop progress and condition tables.
(Click to enlarge)

This is exactly the area that Hurricane Ike hit after making landfall:

Ike's storm total rainfall across the United States

Unfortunately Ike was one of those long-haul storms that come off the coast of Africa and there's still too much dust and sand for any development for the next few weeks. Better odds on a Gulf of Mexico formation but still, long odds.

Ike's Storm path

Plus, it caused $29 billion in damage