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Deadly Heat Continues to Devour U.S. Crops

Posted by feww on July 19, 2012

‘If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance …’ —Vilsack

U.S. drought intensifies as deadly heat plagues regions from Dakotas to Ohio Valley

‘Dangerous and deadly heat has entrenched itself in the central Plains and Midwest with no prospects of relief in the near future,’ said NOAA forecasters.


U.S. Weather Hazards Map, July 19, 2012. Source: NWS

  • Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect for parts of 10 states and into the weekend for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  • Heat Advisories have been issued for parts of 19 states:  South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island, NWS reported.

U.S. Daily Highest Max Temperature Records (July 17, 2012)

Highest Max Temp Reported

BURLINGTON 2S,  DES MOINES, IA.  New record: 107.0°F set on 2012-07-17; old record at 98.0°F dated 2006-07-17

Drought 2012

If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

USDA has now declared as primary disaster areas a total of about 1,300 counties [many other counties are designated as contiguous disaster areas ] across 29 states, as grain prices shoot through the roof due to deadly heat and unrelenting drought.

“I get on my knees everyday and I’m saying an extra prayer right now,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters after briefing with the Disaster President  Obama. “If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

Among nature’s extreme dislikes is the fact that more than 40 percent of the U.S. corn is used to produce ethanol.

Weekly drought statistics to be released by U.S. Drought Monitor later today could show more than two-thirds of Continental U.S. in drought condition.

By early July 2012, more than 60% of the contiguous United States was experiencing drought conditions, nearly double the area from early January. This NOAA animation shows monthly composites of D1 to D4 categories of drought in the contiguous U.S. over the time frame January 2012 to July 2012 using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Drought Monitor summary map identifies general drought areas, labeling droughts by intensity, with D1 (lightest color) being the least intense and D4 (darkest color) being the most intense.

State of Emergency Declared in Wisconsin

Governor Walker has declared a state of emergency in all 72 Wisconsin counties due to drought and abnormally dry conditions extending across most of the state.

“Wisconsin families, businesses and farmers are hurting as a result of this drought,” said Gov. Walker. “The increase in wildfires due to the combined lack of rain and high temperatures is adding to the risk of major economic losses, especially in agriculture. This is a time of crisis for many people, and we will utilize whatever resources are necessary to help.”

On July 10, Walker declared a state of emergency in 42 southern and central counties.

Latest Disaster Declarations by USDA

USDA has issued Disaster Declarations due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat that began in April 1, 2012, and continues in

  • Missouri: A total of 105 counties declared as agricultural disaster areas.
  • Arkansas:  5 counties
  • Illinois: 9 counties
  • Iowa: 10 counties
  • Kansas: 10 counties
  • Nebraska: 3 counties
  • Oklahoma: 2 counties

USDA designated ten  Counties in Wyoming as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • All other Wyoming counties that would be eligible under 7 CFR 759.5 (a), already have been designated as primary natural disaster counties.

USDA designated 16 Counties in Utah as agricultural disaster areas  due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • Arizona.  The designation also extends to 2 contiguous counties in Arizona.

USDA Designates 5  Counties in Tennessee agricultural disaster areas  due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • Arkansas.  The designation also extends to 2 contiguous counties in Arkansas.
  • Mississippi.  Extends also to 2 counties in Mississippi.

USDA has designated 32  counties in Arkansas as agricultural natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • Mississippi. No. of counties are contiguous disaster areas: 4
  • Tennessee.  Counties declared contiguous disaster areas: 2

USDA has designated 5 counties  in Georgia as  agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

USDA has designated 30 counties in Indiana as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

USDA has designated 10 counties in Mississippi as agricultural natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • All other Mississippi counties that would be eligible under 7 CFR 759.5 (a), already have been designated as primary natural disaster areas.
  • Arkansas. Counties declared contiguous disaster areas: 3

USDA has designated 7 counties in New Mexico as  agricultural natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

  • Arizona. Counties declared as contiguous disaster areas: 1

Latest Available Maps of Agricultural Disaster Areas in the U.S.


Map of U.S. counties declared as agricultural disaster areas under ‘Streamlined Disaster Designation Process,’ as of July 12, 2012


PRIMARY & CONTIGUOUS COUNTIES designated for 2012 crop disaster losses – As of 07/10/2012 – through Designation No. S3260 (Approved 07/03/2012)

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain). A massive wildfire has consumed/affected about 2,000 hectares on the  volcanic island of Tenerife forcing the authorities to evacuate 1,800 inhabitants of the small town of Vilaflor, as well as the residents of another village nearby, reports said.
    • Another large fire burned more than 500 hectares on the neighboring island of La Palma before it was  brought under control on Tuesday, officials said.

Global Carbon Dioxide  Emissions

Global CO2 emissions rose 3 percent to 34 billion tons, said  a new EU report today.

  • China emits 29 percent of global total (9.7 billion tons), while the U.S. is responsible for 16 percent (5.42 billion tons), the EU11 percent, India 6 percent, Russia 5 percent and Japan 4 percent, according to the report.
  • Australia has the world’s largest per capita emissions at 19 tons, followed by the U.S. at 17.3 tons and Saudi Arabia at 16.5 tons per year.
  • The report was released by EC’s Joint Research Center (JRC) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

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