Recent Storms Recall Dust Bowl Days as Drought Persists

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2012′s record drought set to continue into 2013

By Andrea Germanos

As the devastating drought of 2012 looks set to continue into 2013, recent storms in parched areas of the country are bringing visions of the Dust Bowl to some residents.

Reuters reports:

Residents of the Great Plains over the last year or so have experienced storms reminiscent of the 1930s Dust Bowl. Experts say the new storms have been brought on by a combination of historic drought, a dwindling Ogallala Aquifer underground water supply, climate change and government farm programs.  [...]

While few people believe it could get that bad again, the new storms have some experts worried that similar conditions — if not the catastrophic environmental disaster of the 1930s — are returning to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado. 

The most recent Drought Monitor released on Thursday shows massive areas of the country still suffering under a drought, with 61.8% of the contiguous United States under moderate to severe levels of drought. 

droughtoutlook_march droughtmonitor_dec27

Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters remarks that data now show the “2012 drought the greatest U.S. drought since the Dust Bowl year of 1939.”

And the drought forecast shows 2012′s drought moving right into 2013:

droughtoutlook_march

“I hope we don’t talk ourselves into complacency with easy assumptions that a Dust Bowl could never happen again,” Reuters reports Craig Cox, agriculture director for Environmental Working Group, as saying. “Instead, we should do what it takes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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