Bloomberg News

U.S. Drought Expands to Worst Since 1956 in Palmer Index Measure

July 17, 2012

About 55 percent of the contiguous U.S. states were in moderate to extreme drought at the end of June, the highest percentage since December 1956, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Last month was the 14th-warmest ever and the 10th-driest June based on records going back to 1895, the center said in a note on its website. Crop-growing regions in the Midwest and central and northern Great Plains were among the core drought areas identified by the Palmer Index, a drought measure going back 112 years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Stroth in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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