POSTED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 5:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — While temperatures may finally be falling in many areas of the country, the problems created by a devastating heat wave the last couple of weeks are still on the rise.
The extreme conditions are being blamed for at least 87 deaths across 14 states.
Scientists have confirmed what many of us have already felt: The first six months of this year have been the hottest ever on record.
A cold front this week could drop temperatures in many places by ten to 15 degrees, bringing some relief and much needed rain.
Drought conditions stretch across more than half of the country right now, creating what scientists call the largest drought footprint of the 21st century.
"That rain today is not going to do us any good," says farmer Jim Nice. "It's over with with the corn, and Mother Nature hasn't been very good to us this summer."
Corn stalks and many other crops have withered and died and any rain now is really little more than an insult to so many farmers who have already lost this season.