Finding the Reasons for the 2012 Drought
Atmospheric conditions blamed for bringing on record drought.
The period from May to August was the driest four months the United States has experienced since 1895, according to an analysis released April 11 led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A drought as severe as last year's happens only once every couple of hundred years, said Martin Hoerling, an NOAA meteorologist who led the drought assessment. "It was a pretty rare event," he added during a teleconference with reporters. (Related pictures: "Surprising Effects of the U.S. Drought.")
The researchers were careful to point out that the 2012 drought was not a continuation of the 2011 drought that left the southern Plains area, including Texas and New Mexico, high and dry.
The causes for those two events