Drought grows in the West

Jun 18, 2021  | 2 min  | Ep4644

Many Americans would appreciate temps in the 70’s. Instead, hundreds of new record highs were set across the country this week.

Now with drought conditions expanding, the lack of water is becoming more evident.

Peter Tubbs reports. Producer contact peter.tubbs@iowapbs.org

Record temperatures swept across the western half of the U.S. this week, while much of the corn belt waits for rain to ease a growing drought.
Phoenix had multiple days above 115 degrees this week, and Las Vegas threatened records with temperatures above 110 degrees.
The drought across the western half of the United States worsened, as heat continues to dry out several states. 
Multiple wildfires in California flared up, taxing fire crews. The number of lakes and reservoirs that firefighters can draw water from for fire fighting continues to decline.
Crops in the Midwest are struggling to grow as subsoil moisture is depleted and temperatures hit triple digits. Corn in some parts of the country is beginning to curl as the plants work to retain moisture in the short term. Meteorologists fear the trend is going to continue even as rain showers and thunderstorms pop-up across drought stricken areas of the nation.
Dr. Justin Gilsan, State Climatologist for Iowa: “We talk about dryness begets dryness, and wetness begets wetness. If you have no moisture for these thunderstorms to work off of, they won’t go in that region or they will just fizzle out. This is what we saw last year as drought conditions started to form.”

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs.

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