The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that more than half the country (56 percent) experienced drought conditions-the largest percentage in the 12-year history of the service.
Also, the period from January through June was "the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States."

The average temperature was 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.5 degrees above average, NOAA said on Monday. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies set temperature records for the six-month period.

A heat wave blistered most of the United States in June, with more than 170 all-time temperature records broken or tied during the month.

On June 28 in Norton, Kan., for instance, the temperature reached 118 degrees, an all-time high. On June 26, Red Willow, Neb., set a temperature record of 115 degrees, eclipsing the 114-degree mark set in 1932, reports Yahoonew.com.