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:
Percent of the lower 48 states experiencing at least a moderate drought in June
Percent of the lower 48 states experiencing severe to extreme drought in June
The last time so many states experienced a drought; 57.6 percent of the lower 48 states were affected that year
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
States that have been declared natural disaster areas due to the weather this summer
Daily U.S. heat records broken in June
The record temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in St. Louis, Mo., on June 28
Temperature recorded at Illinois' Cairo airport on June 29 — the highest temperature ever recorded in Illinois in June
Americans living under extreme heat advisories by late June
Acres burned in massive western wildfires this year
Days without rain in Indianapolis, In., from June 1 through July 16, breaking a record set in 1908
Days without rain in Salt Lake City, Ut., during one stretch in May and June
Percent of U.S. corn crops in poor or very poor shape, according to the USDA
The last year that corn and soybean ratings were so bad
Peak price for a bushel of corn on Tuesday, just shy of the record high $7.99, set in 2008
Price for a bushel of corn in April, when the USDA was still predicting a bumper crop
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