India's monsoon rains finally arrived in August—two months late—and vegetation conditions showed some improvement.

The rainy season in India arrived late and delivered far less precipitation than usual in summer 2012, leading to severe drought across large parts of the country.

The lead character in the 2011 climate story was La Niña—the cool phase of the El Ni

Spring storms across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea finally swept away a high pressure system that had been fostering increasingly dry conditions over the Horn of Africa in early 2011.

Since the beginning of 2012, drought conditions have worsened along the eastern seaboard, adding to a dry picture for much of the United States.

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