They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and that was certainly true in June. Throughout the month, two very different stories played out in the contiguous United States. While the drought-stricken West fell into the grips of an intense heat wave, East Coasters were bombarded by summer thunderstorms.
A plant is a sophisticated climate-observing device. These satellite maps of the central and southern Great Plains during the week of April 8, 2012, and 2013 show how plants in the heart of the U.S. winter wheat croplands "measured" dramatically different climate conditions this spring than last.
The Spring Outlook encompasses temperature, precipitation, drought, and flooding expectations for the coming three months, and Mike Halpert, Acting Director of the Climate Prediction Center, discusses the outlook and its implications.
It’s natural to associate drought with heat and with summer, but drought also impacts us during winter months. Winter wheat yields are declining, and the Mississippi River is approaching an all-time low. Understanding drought conditions and how they are affecting us is part of being “climate smart.”