U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat. All qualified farm operators within those areas will be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:37 pm
Last year "marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States," the National Climatic Data Center just confirmed.
This probably won't surprise many, but "a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn" combined to make the year's average temperature 55.3°F.
That's "3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."
2012 was a drought year for the record books. It was the warmest year ever recorded in Des Moines, Iowa, Topeka, Kan., and Columbia, Mo. and the driest ever in Grand Island, Neb. The question is whether 2013 will be any different.
In a series of community meetings, the Colorado Water Institute and Colorado State University will dig into the controversial topic of well access along the South Platte River.
Colorado’s snowpack is still below average but has improved significantly over the past month.