2012 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

2012 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

The 2012 drought is the most extensive drought to affect the U.S. since the 1930s. Moderate to extreme drought conditions affected more than half the country for a majority of 2012. The following states were affected: CA, NV, ID, MT, WY, UT, CO, AZ, NM, TX, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, AR, MO, IA, MN, IL, IN, GA. Costly drought impacts occurred across the central agriculture states resulting in widespread harvest failure for corn, sorghum and soybean crops, among others. The associated summer heatwave also caused 123 direct deaths, but an estimate of the excess mortality due to heat stress is still unknown. — NOAA: Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

Date of event: January-December 2012


  • CPI-Adjusted Estimated Cost: $32.4 billion
  • Deaths: 123

Related Resources:

HSDL Search: Severe Drought

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