Early 21st century U.S. drought ranks as one of the most severe in 120 years
At the beginning of the 21st century, several regional droughts were plaguing parts of the contiguous United States. By 2012, these droughts had combined into a national-scale event the likes of which hadn’t been seen in decades. With two-thirds of the Lower 48 states in drought by the end of September, many began to speculate that it was as severe as the episodes of the 1930s and 1950s. But how did this early 21st-century drought really compare to those two previous droughts? NCEI scientist and drought expert, Richard Heim, set out to answer that very question.
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