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America's worst drought in decades: By the numbers
It's been an abysmally dry and scorching summer so far, triggering comparisons to the 1930s Dust Bowl. Here, a look at just how bad it's been
A corn plant struggles to survive in a drought-stricken Illinois field: 38 percent of U.S. corn crops are in bad shape due to the season's severe heat.
A corn plant struggles to survive in a drought-stricken Illinois field: 38 percent of U.S. corn crops are in bad shape due to the season's severe heat.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
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f you've felt like this summer has been spitefully torturing you with dry heat, it's not in your head: The National Climatic Data Center said this week that more than half of the U.S. spent June in a moderate or extreme drought, the widest incidence of drought in half a century. The heat and lack of rain are wreaking havoc on crops in the Midwest, forests in the West, and households across big stretches of the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Eastern seaboard. Here, a drily statistical look at our long, hot summer: 

54.6
Percent of the lower 48 states experiencing at least a moderate drought in June

33
Percent of the lower 48 states experiencing severe to extreme drought in June

1956
The last time so many states experienced a drought; 57.6 percent of the lower 48 states were affected that year

1934
The year of the worst drought on record; 79.9 percent of the lower 48 states were afflicted during the peak of the Dust Bowl

26
States that have been declared natural disaster areas due to the weather this summer

3,215
Daily U.S. heat records broken in June

108
The record temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in St. Louis, Mo., on June 28

109
Temperature recorded at Illinois' Cairo airport on June 29 — the highest temperature ever recorded in Illinois in June

110 million
Americans living under extreme heat advisories by late June

2 million
Acres burned in massive western wildfires this year

46
Days without rain in Indianapolis, In., from June 1 through July 16, breaking a record set in 1908

38
Days without rain in Salt Lake City, Ut., during one stretch in May and June

38 
Percent of U.S. corn crops in poor or very poor shape, according to the USDA

1988
The last year that corn and soybean ratings were so bad

$7.89
Peak price for a bushel of corn on Tuesday, just shy of the record high $7.99, set in 2008

$5
Price for a bushel of corn in April, when the USDA was still predicting a bumper crop

Sources: AP, Bloomberg, CNN, Indianapolis StarNOAA, Salt Lake Tribune, Reuters, TIME, Washington Post (2), Weather UndergroundWISH-TV, YNN

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