Severe Drought Includes Much of Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana

July 20, 2012

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that severe drought affecting much of the Midwest and Great Plains now covers more than half of Iowa and three-quarters of Nebraska. More than half of Indiana is now listed in extreme drought in a swath of the state’s midsection that goes its entire length.

The map shows the eastern half is the driest part of Iowa, plus a bulging area in the north-central part of the state. The map shows the rest of Iowa in a moderate drought.

The drought map is a project shared by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Weather Service. The latest map is based on conditions as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The map shows that the western 75 percent of Nebraska is suffering from a severe drought, and extreme drought is affecting some counties in the center of the state and its southwest corner.

Almost 54 percent of Indiana is in extreme drought, a situation that experts say will take weeks of regular rainfall to relieve.

The new report nearly doubles from last week the percentage of the state listed in extreme drought.

The report labels more than 99 percent of the state as being in at least moderate drought. The only exception is a small area just north of Louisville, Ky.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared a natural disaster for 80 of Indiana’s 92 counties because of the drought’s damage to crops.

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