This narrated visualization shows how drought developed in the U.S. in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Dried up Lake in Oklahoma as a result of the droughts
The 2010–2013 Southern United States drought is a severe to extreme ongoing drought plaguing the US South, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The worst effects have been in Texas, where near-record drought has parched the state since January 2011. Texas suffered an estimated $7.62 billion in crop and livestock losses, surpassing its record loss of $4.1 billion in 2006. In Texas, combined with the rest of the South, at least $10 billion in agricultural losses were recorded in 2011. In 2010-11, Texas experienced its driest August–July (12-month) period on record.
By the end of August 2011, a ban on outdoor burning was in effect for 251 of the 254 Texas counties. Lake levels in Texas have declined vastly, some by as much as 50 feet; E.V. Spence Reservoir is now[when?] only 1% full. This has revealed various previously submerged items, ranging from a Native American's skull to a Space Shuttle Columbia tank. On August 30, several homes in Oklahoma City were destroyed along with 1,500 wooded acres. Hundreds of homes had to be evacuated.
The drought has had a detrimental effect on Texas and Oklahoma cattle ranches, who have deeply culled their herds and helped cut the national cattle population to the lowest level in decades.
2012 spring rainfall improved conditions in many parts of Texas and by April 12, 2012 only 14% of the state was in "exceptional" drought, compared to 88% at the drought's peak.
United States Drought Monitor on January 3 and July 3, 2012. Note the massive expansion from the South to most of the US.