study of drought conditions in Adams county NE (2012) compared to 2011
DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN ADAMS COUNTY 2012 COMPARED TO 2011
Study of drought conditions in Adams County NE (2012) compared to 2011
This paper entails an assessment of the drought conditions in the Adams County, Nebraska State in the US. It occurred after the devastating floods in the Midwest. The paper covers the background of the state and calamity, the problems and objectives. It also addresses the data used, method and classification. Results and discussions regarding the calamity are also covered. Drought is defined as the lack of precipitation over a long period, normally more than a season. In consideration of the history, droughts cannot be avoided as they are part of natural climate cycle. In the US the major cause of drought has been sea surface temperature along the Pacific Ocean. Fas.org, (2015).
The impacts of drought in 2012 were realized in the subsequent year, with an impact on a wide range of sectors. Drought in the Adams County resulted in many problems. For instance, agricultural losses hence decline in the economy. This occurred as a result of severe heat from the weather that affected both small and large scale agricultural activities, the production of hay declined by 28%; corn declined to 16%, and soya beans yield reduced to 21% as well. This lead to a shortage of this products and hence increase in the price of these commodities. Infrastructure was also affected by the drought, foundations were damaged, trails, water mains and municipal were also affected by the drought. The large dust storms at the mid-October of 2012 affected transportation, as many roads were not visible and had to be closed down and Low productivity of the industries like the energy resource production plants, the drought also hindered recreation and navigation activities, water supplies and compromised aquatic species, fisheries, and water quality.
At the start of the year, there were no clear signs of the 2012 draft and that the draught results into search a big damage. However by the end of 2012, the entire Adams County was experiencing great impacts of drought and with an imbalance as some other states faced even more challenges as per the US Drought Monitor. Compared to 2011 where the dry conditions had allowed the east side of the state to face slight draught developments. The results obtained from the US drought indicated that at the start of 2012 at least 14% of the Adams state was in drought, with a greater part of the state in moderate drought (DI), and less than 1% of the state experienced severe drought.
Various factors influenced the winter season between the year 2011 and 2012. For instance the strong Southerly winds, lack of snowpack in the north, the cold arctic air that flow to the north of the state, the positive phase of the Oscillation influenced the winter season. Drought kept spreading and hence had covered even more places by the end of February 2012.
Drought conditions continued to have even great impacts through the year 2012, its impacts worsened and precipitation deficits rose steadily. Exceptional drought D4 is expanded to almost 71% from 23% in just a week’s time. The temperature in Adams County rose to almost unbearable levels as the impacts of the drought; the spring season was the longest in the record. Some people enjoyed the impacts of the spring. However, it had with time it resulted in a decline in the soil moisture conditions as competition from plants, for the moisture began earlier during the season since the moisture was not replenished, the drought conditions worsened. The drought conditions developed through 2012. As at earlier June, moderate drought (D1) had covered over 32%, as at mid-July at least 77% of the state had been covered by severe drought (D2)
Some measures and drought indices were used to classify the magnitude of the Adams County drought. The first was the drought intensity that relied on either the several or single indicators. The US Monitor utilizes five key indicators some in which snowpack was important, and other indices that could be used during the planting season. The US drought monitor also utilized the Intensity Scheme-DO to D4 for depicting broad-scale conditions of the drought.
Means of responding to drought conditions in the Adams have been put in place, for instance, the water transfer mechanism so as to manage the water supply shortages, federal responses to deal with drought emergencies have also been put in place. For instance, the locals have been supplied with emergency food in times of drought to protect them from malnutrition. The drought impacts were also dated back to 1988, and it was a sign that not every measure to prevent subsequent drought had been put in place. The 2012 draught could be explained fully, but the information contained in this paper is a glimpse of the drought and decision makers should put necessary measures that can prevent a repeat of such a calamity. In regard National Drought Mitigation Center, a society can deal well deal with a drought event through proper strategies of risk management and preparedness through planning, monitoring and impact collection.
Drought.unl.edu,. (2015). Retrieved 8 December 2015, from http://drought.unl.edu/Portals/0/docs/CentralUSDroughtAssessment2012.pdf
Fas.org,. (2015). Retrieved 8 December 2015, from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34580.pdf