Corn stalks from the previous year’s harvest lie atop parched fields in northeast Colorado in early June 2012. Heat and drought devastated corn crops in the summer of 2012 across much of the United States, the world’s leading corn producer.
A windmill stands in a dry field in northern Texas.
A symbol of drought: Drying soil contracts and cracks as it loses moisture.
In urban areas, children (and adults) often flock to water fountains to escape the heat.
A massive thunderstorm complex near Rocky Mountain National Park dumped more than 12 inches of rain in a four-hour period on July 31, 1976, sending a wall of water more than 20 feet high through Big Thompson Canyon. 143 people died in one of Colorado's worst natural disasters.
Heavy rain pelts the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The state is prone to flooding from intense thunderstorms as well as from hurricanes and tropical storms.
Snowmelt and heavy rain can lead to high water along creeks in Boulder, Colorado, and prompt the closure of pedestrian paths, as in this case from early July 2011.
in Boulder, Colorado, heavy rains and snowmelt can lead to high, fast-moving waters in Boulder Creek, especially in late spring and early summer.
The downtown area of Custer, South Dakota, experienced significant street flooding on August 3, 2011, after nearly two inches of rain fell in the area.
Streets were closed in the downtown area of Custer, South Dakota, after nearly two inches of rain fell in the area on August 3, 2011.
This aerial view shows homes submerged in the 1993 Midwest flood, one of the nation's worst natural disasters of the 20th century. Damages totaled $15 billion, 50 people died, and thousands of people were evacuated, some for months.
Countless cars were lost to the great Midwest flood of 1993, which was triggered by weeks of torrential rainfall across the region.
High water paralyzed communities across the Midwest during the great flood of 1993. The flood was unusual in the magnitude of the crests, the number of record crests, the large area impacted, and the length of the time the flood was an issue.
Despite sandbags, many riverside towns and cities were inundated by the Midwestern flood of 1993, one of the nation's worst natural disasters of the 20th century.
Road signs barely clear high water amid the Midwest flood of 1993. Some 30,000 square miles (78,000 square kilometers) were inundated by the flood—an area more than half as large as the entire state of Iowa.
Unlike the rampage of a flash flood, river flooding can appear oddly peaceful, as in this placid scene from the great Midwest flood of 1993. Some 15 million acres (60,000 square kilometers) of farmland were inundated by the flood.
Mudslides are common during wet periods across the steep slopes of Colorado's Front Range.
A flood-damaged bridge and resulting debris posed the risk of further flooding along Boulder Creek just upstream of Boulder, Colorado in June 2010.