During the winter of 2011-2112, North America experienced one of the worst natural calamities of the modern era. Strong positive Atlantic and Arctic oscillation pushed winter storms from away from the United States in what would result in the drought. When spring came, there was less snow so the ground did not get enough moisture. Less evaporation occurred leading to low rainfall. Dry conditions were noticed within a short time since there was very little snow that melted. To worsen the situation even more, weak tornadoes were experienced and were later followed by stronger ones in the month of March 2012. Drought conditions increased as rainfall decreased.
In Summer, things moved from the frying pan into the fire. This was because the strong heat waves in North America increased the evaporation rates of water sources, meaning that that the soil was left with no water. With no moisture, enough rain could not form, and when June 2012 came, strong storms caused only little rainfall. Any rain water that would have saved the situation ran off quickly since the soils had been hardened by the droughts. In the long run, numerous death were reported and properties of an unknown value were destroyed. This was a big tragedy indeed.
For seven years, Texas experienced the worst droughts ever, which lasted from 1950-1957. Its effects were massive compared to when the Dust Bowl: occurred. The agricultural sector collapsed leading to huge losses. Furthermore, water supply planning in the state became ineffective and failed since there was no water to be supplied to homes.
As years passed, Texas people stared at the clouds hoping to see any signs of rain but none was there for seven years. Cracks were evident on the ground as the soil dried. The long dry spell forced farmers to sell their animals and move to urban centers hoping for a better life.
The Drought Effects
Some sources claim that the drought started in 1947. This is the year when the amount of rain received in Central Texas was greatly low. Those who owned cattle relocated to North Kansas to evade the harsh effects of the drought, in the 1952 summer. Unfortunately, the devastating drought quickly spread to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, and the amount of rainfall received was 75% below normal. More than half of Texas received significantly little rainfall. The drought was felt all over, from the Great Plains to the south of New Mexico to Deep South. The Midwest was not spared either. By 1954, a total of 10 states had been affected by the biting drought.
Lack of water was not the only problem, as environment was also severely affected by juniper and mesquite. The overgrazed land was left bare and farmers lacked food for their animals. Besides that, the weak top soils had been eroded away by wind storms that occurred during the Dust Bowl period. Thus, this drought was one of the worst in the American history.
The United States is not new to drought. The country has been one of the most hit in history. The drought that occurred in the United States in 1983 was one of the country’s worst natural calamities. Accompanied by heat waves, the US Drought of 1983 affected various parts of the country, especially the Great Plains and the Midwest. The drought started hitting the country in late spring. Starting from June 1983, the states in the affected regions experienced intense heat, which lasted for months. The temperatures rose well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of the dangerous and prolonged heat spells, the drought was declared a disaster in some of the affected states, such as Illinois and Indiana. In Kentucky, the drought was only second to the 20th century’s worst. Uncountable shrubs and trees hibernated into dormancy, and you the vegetation was nowhere to be seen. Hundreds of deaths were reported in various parts of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri as a result of severe heat. The effects of the drought were also felt in Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic areas, such as the New York City. Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska also became victims.