With all the bad news coming out of the record-setting drought of 2012, there are a couple of nuggets of good news. First, the Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" is much smaller than normal, and we have had a record-low number of tornadoes in the month of July.
The Gulf's "dead zone" is a pocket of water off the mouth of the Mississippi River that is lacking oxygen because of nutrients in the river water. These nutrients allow plankton to bloom in huge quantities. The plankton uses all the available oxygen, making it impossible for other sea life to survive in the dead zone. This has a huge impact on the fishing industry. Scientists have never seen this area as small as it is this year.
After an extremely active, and record-breaking start to our tornado season, we have done a complete turnaround when it comes to tornado activity. This is directly attributable to the lack of available moisture. It does seem, though, that the storms that have developed may have produced more than the average number of straight-line wind damage reports.