America’s Great 2012 Drought

George Washington's picture


The progress of the drought has been horrific:

12 week 2012 Drought: As Bad as During the 1930s Dust Bowl?

The current drought is covering almost as much of the U.S. as during the 1930s dust bowl:

drought 2012 Drought: As Bad as During the 1930s Dust Bowl?

As the Weather Channel  pointed out last month,  the area covered by drought rivals some of the dust bowl years:

map specnews29 ltst 4namus enus 650x366 2012 Drought: As Bad as During the 1930s Dust Bowl?

As of June – the area covered by severe drought was still lower than during the Dust Bowl years, but still made the top 10 list:

map specnews30 ltst 4namus enus 650x366 2012 Drought: As Bad as During the 1930s Dust Bowl?

But – despite the recent rains in some areas, which reduced by 1% the area covered by drought – the farm states remain parched, and the area covered by severe drought is still growing.

Unfortunately, the one certainty is higher food prices.

Much of the area hit during the Dust Bowl – and again today – is naturally prone to drought.  As the Weather Channel notes:

The area is known as semi-arid and is naturally prone to drought and high winds. In fact, early settlers referred to it as the “Great American Desert.”

Interestingly, HowStuffWorks notes:

About 90 percent of the 450 million hectares of arid land in North America suffers from moderate to severe desertification [source: Center for International Earth Science Information Network]

But as Ezra Klein notes, there have been much bigger droughts in the distant past:

Scientists have looked at data from tree rings and found (pdf) that North America endured brutal “megadroughts” during the medieval period. These droughts were similar in intensity to today’s dry spells, but lasted 20 to 40 years and were possibly linked to massive La Niña ocean events:

ancient droughts Americas Great 2012 DroughtRed square = Here there be monstrous droughts.


Fortunately, we haven’t seen anything that bad in recent times.

Postscript:   July was reportedly the warmest month recorded in the U.S. since records began in 1895.  And AP reports:

The first seven months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the nation. And August 2011 through July this year was the warmest 12-month period on record, just beating out the July 2011-June 2012 time period.

Some say this proves global warming is a dire threat, while others say that it is dishonest to claim that short-term weather proves anything.

But we can all agree on the following:

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Sat, 08/11/2012 - 22:58 | 2698189 dxj
Fri, 08/10/2012 - 05:19 | 2693422 aayers
aayers's picture

Convenient timing for the global warming advocates, after being thoroughly discredited with Climategate and other scandals. Since the fake data didn't fly, now we get the real thing. HARRP and chemtrails, your tax dollars at work!

It's a false flag drought!

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 09:51 | 2693858 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Climategate did not discredit anything except the denialistas....

What fake data are you referring to?

BTW, they are CON-trails not CHEM-trails....

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 07:15 | 2693496 BlankfeinDiamond
BlankfeinDiamond's picture

Well, there you have it. Makes me feel better that aayers has all of the answers.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:21 | 2693259 dunce
dunce's picture

Nuclear may not be the answer but it is certainly not the problem and neither is the the size of our military.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:15 | 2693252 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

I dont know what all the fuss is about. Everyone knows that food comes from grocery stores.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:32 | 2692819 windcatcher
windcatcher's picture

Weather as a weapon like HAARP, what did everyone expect? America has been under siege since 9/11 and not by cave men.


The stock brokers are done as well since 95% of the trades are done with front-running computers.


Silver and gold is done with zipping of the investigation of manipulation of the precious metals market for “National Security Reasons”


Whoopee! The fun has just begun!

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 20:37 | 2692697 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

And here in the Appalachian Mtns:

(Southeast US)

July was the wettest on record here....normal is about 4.5"....record was 9.7.....this July was 12.5".


August is starting off interesting as well....we got 5" in less than 2 hours this past Sunday night.  Needless to say, it cleaned out the creeks and anybody that didn't understand the concept of "flood plain".

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 20:57 | 2692732 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Here in Fla, I can also report that after a one year drought, many parts of the state were up to their eyeballs (literally) in fresh water.

The drought is now over...the drought was caused by an abnormally low hurricane/tropical storm season the last couple years...which, if every one will remember was an impossiblilty because of man made global warming/AGW after 2004 when we got slammed by four see...killer hurricanes were going to be the yearly norm from 2004 going forward.

Nope...more BS.



Thu, 08/09/2012 - 23:46 | 2693081 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Wow... do you always make stuff up?

Show us in any of the IPCC reports where the concensus position is that AGW would result in increased hurricanes? Sorry.... bzzzt...

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 00:51 | 2693206 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

it saturated the news nightly, literally for years

how short is your memory?


 Now go home and get your fuckin' shinebox

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:05 | 2693234 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

.039% of atmospher is CO2

we are responsible for 5% of that roughly


.00195% of the atmosphere




with those kinda numbers?


Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:44 | 2693286 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Fuck, at least get your numbers correct... Assuming you can even figure out where you fucked up...

Hint: pre industrial revolution C02 maxed out at ~280 ppmv.... we are now at 396 ppmv

Remind me of the fraction of the atmosphere that is GHG? And what the global temperature would be without them?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:13 | 2693248 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

 water vapor is 7833 times more abundant in the atmosphere than CO2


ever been outside on a hot sticky high CO2 day when your nuts were just sticking to your leg?

or does a hot sticky high humidity day sound a little more familiar?


fuckin AGW...for christs sake, temperature go up ,temp go down

cyclical dammit

of course the sun has nothing to fucking do with it which is why its so much goddamned hotter at nite or in the shade than during the day with the sun beating down on you

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 19:48 | 2692566 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I would say so many pricks have mucked around with the records that nobody really know what's going on anymore.

That means, default to "follow the money."

Hmmm..... statists, bankers and other ne'er do-wells want taxes and fines to "fix it."

I'm going to pass on AGW, unless somebody sets off a few nukes.

Give the Sun time go go back to its minimum and let's see what happens.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 19:48 | 2692565 CH1
CH1's picture

It must be a weather story... the paid trolls are back.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:22 | 2692384 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

Now we have the great American desert for our own verision of Mad MAX. I'm going out to purchase a Cobra mustang to ride the hot asphalt. So looking forward to the future of mahem and Zombie warfare. All I need now is a hot little Ausi..or husi...maybe even both. Sarc off...

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:10 | 2692359 moonstears
moonstears's picture

Curses to Mr. Gore, curses! Damned HAARP. C'mon tin foilers (half assed off sarc?)

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 23:37 | 2693041 Revert_Back_to_...
Revert_Back_to_1792_Act's picture

Visit to Weather Modification Inc.

Agenda 21 for Dummies

Listen to JFK.

It has been going on for a long time.

PS.  Your tin foil hat will not work as tin-foil is no longer made from tin but is now aluminum.


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 17:59 | 2692323 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

well I guess its time to go clean the car and hose down the lawn again....

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:02 | 2692315 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

i presume The Weather Channel has mixed up the dates to deliberately obscure from public view there is a regular as clockwork 7-8 year drought cycle in the US, which Ethiopia also suffers from ...this is why journalists perpetuate the myth of 'surprise' and 'unpredictable weather' when we're hit by another uber-predictable not-at-all surprising drought

drought can be countered in America and Ethiopia by simple investment in water storage.. but as they're both monopolised by peanut brained politicians we're forever running out of water causing food price inflation (and in Ethiopia, easily avoidable starvation and death)

we should privatise all water and get Rules and Regs off suffocating the market and human progress... like Chile's free market in water which works briliantly

Everything Govt touches turns to crap.. the water industry is no exception

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 19:51 | 2692569 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Shit! The Zionists figured out how to buy the weather!

Those cunning bastards!

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:17 | 2692376 Shankopotomus
Shankopotomus's picture

Ok I'll bite. How in the heck does one go about privatising the rain?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 07:55 | 2693545 Silver Alert
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 23:40 | 2693070 Revert_Back_to_...
Revert_Back_to_1792_Act's picture

Enron was figuring it out



Thu, 08/09/2012 - 20:59 | 2692746 nmewn
nmewn's picture

How does one go about taxing the air?

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:29 | 2692812 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

" I see you're using the sun" - Steve Martin

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:41 | 2692835 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Damn Dave...I'm gettin too old for this, I've seen it all before ;-)

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:12 | 2692361 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

While the government can certainly fuck things up, you are tilting at windmills with this latest offering...

A few thousand rain barrels ain't gonna save the day...

And I presume that you believe that the Colorado would still reach the sea if it was "privatised"....sure, whatever....

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:34 | 2692400 johansen
johansen's picture

how about a few hundred trillion barrels by investing in some 2000 mile long canals.

isn't particularly difficult nor expensive.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 20:42 | 2692713 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I'll bite, what is your assumed source?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:13 | 2693247 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Great lakes. Also, corp of engineers builds some good dams in this neck of the woods.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 01:40 | 2693280 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You might want to clear things with Canada first, or was the plan to invade first and then ask questions later???

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 17:39 | 2692284 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Those mini-maps are why I don't live in Texas.  I like drinking water too much.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:01 | 2692334 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

And I like to live in Belgium because I like drinking beer too much.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:53 | 2692439 Reese Bobby
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:06 | 2692348 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

SD you're being flippent and also hiding your true reasons... you live in Belgium because they can't form a Govt

if the trend looks like it'll continue after the EC/EU crumbles and vacates their HQ i'm coming across to join you

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:32 | 2692818 Vet4RonPaul
Vet4RonPaul's picture

Belgium may not have a goberment but the South (French) and North (Flemmish) are a microcism of the EU with the South living off the hard work of the North.  They love each other - really.  lol

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 17:29 | 2692267 Stud Duck
Stud Duck's picture

We just started the corn harvest here in western Missouri, about 50 lbs per acre so far on the early planted corn, late plant is a total loss/It has been chopped for silage for the cattle. The bean crop is still in question as a good rain may help a little in yield, but need rain or it will be a total loss.

Glad I still have last years beans still in the bin, 20,000 bushel and prices going up everyday, I will sell when they make $20, as nothing to replace them with. I would rather have bean in the bin than money in the bank! All the neighbors sold their wheat at harvest for $5.50 cash, due to bankers wanting money, price is now $9. My advise to the neighbors was screw the bankers, they won;t be around next year when they will needed to borrow money from to put out a crop, and the neigbors would of made $3 more per bushel if they would of taken my advise.

I have been the this rodeo before, interest will go to the moon soon, with no money to be found for risky farm operations, that happened in the 80's with the Volker Plan, He did a good job of screwing farmers with high interest rates, not going their again!

My calculations are that crop insurance on 75 million acres @ 100 bushel short, @ $8 bushel, will cost the crop insurance plan on corn $600 billion, probably another amount on soybeans of the same amount, so in summary the Fed's got a 1.5 trilion dollor pamt to the farmers that they do not have the money for, most wont get it due to some fancy language in the policy that screws them, and they will be out of business, just like the 80's.


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 20:03 | 2692613 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

you had me at "screw the bankers"

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 19:11 | 2692488 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I thought soybeans only stored well for around 6 months.  But I'm no Branson Mo.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:59 | 2692451 Shankopotomus
Shankopotomus's picture

You'll sell your beans if and when they get to $20, not when they get to $20, because it's possible that they'll never will get to $20.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:27 | 2692392 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

To Stud: Excellent post. I was wondering which company provides most of the policies for crop insurance, and when do they typically payout?


Thanks in Advance

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 05:05 | 2693413 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture



Don't know which company provides the most but here's the list of 2013 providers(assuming they survive 2012):

Crop Insurance Providers List for 2013



Here's the real nitty-gritty:


The Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) and the Livestock Price Reinsurance Agreement (LPRA) are cooperative financial assistance agreements between the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) and an insurance company. FCIC is a government corporation within USDA authorized to carry out programs of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. The Risk Management Agency acts on behalf of FCIC to administer all Federal crop insurance programs.




So it looks to me like the taxpayer is the final backstop in the crop insurance gig...there's a shocker.


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 18:05 | 2692344 moonstears
moonstears's picture

Held your beans? Dirty capitalist!/sarc

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 17:26 | 2692261 Captain Nukem
Captain Nukem's picture

George Washington, you are really slipping!

I would have expected you have pointers to web pages "proving" that the drought is the direct result of Fukushima radiation. And then more pointers to web pages "proving" that Fukushima was actually a terrorist attack sponsored by the US government.

Quit loafing and get back to work! Otherwise I may have to look elsewhere for bogus information to feed my paranoid delusions.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 22:59 | 2692955 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Hello nuclear shillbot.. How much you getting paid to pump the death machine?

P.s. Fuck you.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 22:40 | 2692927 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

how's this for a "paranoid delusion": we already know about the massive electrical failure...600 million without power. shall we throw in a global food crisis to make it interesting?

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