Around the world, 2012 was the year of ‘drought and heat’

• January 2, 2013
State of the US drought, September 25 2012

Courtesy: United States Department of Agriculture, 2012

The “Heat and Drought of 2012″ caused crops to wither and Mississippi River levels to plunge while yielding the warmest year on record for the U.S.

The Setup

The drought and heat had their origins during the prior winter.

A fast storm track over northern Canada during the winter of 2011-2012 prevented cold air from making many visits into the U.S. and kept the frigid air locked up near the Arctic Circle.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, “This pattern, in turn, resulted in mild Pacific air over much of the U.S. and southern Canada. Additionally, a lack of snow cover over southern Canada then allowed any air coming southward to further warm up before entering the U.S.”

The lack of cold air in the U.S. then greatly limited the intensity of storms during the winter and influenced the form of precipitation.

Many stream and river systems are fed by the melting of snow cover and the release of frozen water in the ground through the spring and early summer.

Read more: Accuweather >>


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