NOAA satellites track this year's drought

Animation shows areas hard hit by lack of rain, high temperatures

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If you're living in the U.S., chances are you've probably noticed that it's been pretty hot and dry lately - even here in the Northeast, I haven't had to mow my lawn in weeks, and I'm seeing lots of brown patches in the front yard (not that I mind, I hate mowing my lawn).

Anyway, the NOAAvisualizations channel on YouTube has posted an animation showcasing the country's dry spots for 2012. The animation "shows monthly composites of vegetation health index derived from data from the AVHRR sensor on-board the NOAA POES satellite. Areas colored in shades of orange are experiencing moderate through exceptional drought conditions and are consistent with areas of vegetation stress," NOAA says.

NOAA says its satellites "are used to measure the impact of drought on vegetation, and in many ways, the ability to measure the impact on vegetation provides a more readily understandable way to measure drought."

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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