As Americans across the country swelter under high temperatures and brave extreme weather, Yahoo! asked readers to share their weather- and drought-related anecdotes. Here is one.
FIRST PERSON | OLNEY, Ill. -- At this time of year in southern Illinois, the corn is usually basking in hot and humid weather. It has definitely been hot here, but a different type of heat. It has been really dry with record low humidity levels reached. A lot of times it has reached below 20 percent humidity, almost unheard of in this part of the nation. Temperatures have risen higher than 100 degrees most days this summer with maybe three rains since April. A lot of times rain comes close by, then turns a different direction or dissolves.
Most of the crops in the area have dried up and are worthless, while I have not mowed my yard in more than three months. Tree branches are breaking off due to stress and lack of water. Flowering plants are either turning yellow or dying out all together. Even with daily watering, gardens are producing very little due to the heat. In some communities, watering is not allowed due to conserving plans and some places are even rationing.
I work outdoors in a local lumberyard and get to feel the full effect of the heat. Some days I am so exhausted from the heat, I have been going to bed before 8 p.m. This triple-digit heat has also affected our business since it is almost impossible to put shingles on in this type of weather. There are only a few hours a day that this can be done. People are still getting blisters on their hands the few hours they are working.
The creeks and rivers around here are very low or even dried-up. All our local wildlife has to be suffering from this, too. Most of these animals are adapted to the humidity of the summer and not the desert-like weather we have been having here. As we approach the halfway point in summer, there is no sign of relief from the drought. If this trend continues, we might have to stop growing corn and start raising cacti for our cash crop.
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- Nature & Environment