July 23, 2012MO |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared all of Missouri a Primary Natural Disaster Area due to losses from drought conditions and record temperatures.
In fact, most counties experienced average temperatures at least three degrees above average, making June one of the "Top 20" warmest Junes in history.
With such high temperatures and relatively low humidity, little moisture was absorbed in to the ground, killing pastures, crops, and grass. State climatologist, Pat Guinan, says this is the worst drought since 1988.
With very little precipitation and moisture, over half of the Missouri corn and soybean produce was reported to be in poor to very poor condition, a number not seen for over 25 years. Fires are being started with little to no effort, including one 48 acre forest fire that started from the blade of a lawnmower striking a rock and throwing sparks.
Burn bans have been initiated statewide as 95 percent of the state has been classified in either severe to extreme drought.
Guinan adds in the Northwest region of Missouri, the drought looks similar to an event back in 2003.
Temperatures are expected to remain high through August, and possibly as far out as October. Forecasts show rain totals remaining dismal in the immediate forecasts.