12 Aug 2011

Drought deepens in United States south

9:42 am on 12 August 2011

A devastating drought has deepened over the last week in many areas of the United States as high temperatures baked already thirsty crops and livestock.

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

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

Corn belt states of South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana are also in drought and Oklahoma saw conditions worsen, with extreme and exceptional drought now spread through most of the state.

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% drop in precipitation.