From June on, a series of dry air masses hovered far above the U.S., swirling around a high-pressure center. Winds moving around this center kept moist air over the Gulf of Mexico from spreading, and steered Pacific storms off to the north. As summer wore on, the dry masses sank steadily, becoming compressed and growing warmer.,as they came down. The result: hot, dry weather over most of the country, disastrous drought in sections of 13 states. Last fortnight, the drought breeding weather high was cracked and pushed aside.

Two troughs of low pressure, plus the movement of the high-pressure center...

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