U.S. Drought Biggest Since 1956, Climate Agency Says

Even the mighty Mississippi River is feeling low amid what the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday is the largest drought since the 1950's. The center said about 55% of the country was in at least moderate short-term drought in June for the first time since December 1956, when 58% of the country was in a moderate to extreme drought.

The hot, dry weather in June, which ranked as the third-driest month nationally in at least 118 years, according to the center, made the problem worse. The portion of the country suffering from severe to extreme short-term drought dramatically expanded in June, up to nearly 33% from 23% the month before.