2012: Highest Drought Peak Since Tail End of Dust Bowl

January 14, 2013

The revised numbers are in from the United States Department of Agriculture, and USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says that 2012’s drought peak was one of the highest peaks experienced in a long time.

“The peak coverage in the 2012 showed that 61.8% of the country was in drought in July 2012, and that is well above the 1983 peak of 52.3%”, said Rippey.

He says its just barley higher than the 1950’s peak of 60.4%. The 2012 peak is now the highest since the tail end of the ‘Dust Bowl’ era.

“We can say that we have now seen, in 2012, the greatest Palmer Drought Index coverage since all the way back to December 1939, the tail end of the dust bowl era”, said Rippey.

To put the ‘Dust Bowl’ into perspective, according to the Palmer Drought Index, 79.9% of the country was considered to be in drought during that time.