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Of course, drought occurs when it's hot and dry, but this drought has been marked by extreme heat.
During the seven-day period, from 7 a.m. July 17 to 7 a.m.Tuesday, July 24, Nebraska and Iowa set or matched 169 records for daytime highs and warmest overnight lows. The previous week, the two states set or matched a total of 24 records.
Those record-setting temperatures over the past week have contributed to the rapid intensification of drought.