Droughts, extensive in area and in duration, are by no means uncommon.
The inland region, called the sertao, is high, stony, and dry, and frequently devastated by prolonged droughts (seccas).
27a or fall in droughts more than 4 or 5 ft.
To the Volga, is less favoured by nature; the winters are longer and more inclement, and droughts are not uncommon.
Mahratta invasions from central India, piratical devastations on the sea-board, banditti who marched about the interior in bodies of 50,000 men, floods which drowned the harvests of whole districts, and droughts in which a third of the population starved to death, kept alive a sense of human powerlessness in the presence of an omnipotent fate.
The droughts to which the island is recurrently subject are, however, a not unimportant drawback to the industry; and though the best ranges, under favourable conditions, are luxuriant, nevertheless the pastures of the island are in general mediocre.
In southern Bahia the industry has been nearly extinguished through increasing aridity and droughts, but in the state of Rio de Janeiro the planters are increasing their herds.
Long droughts are common in many parts of the country, and on the barren surfaces of the plateau the rains drain away rapidly, leaving but slight beneficial results.
Long droughts often destroy the wheat and Indian corn and compel their importation in large quantities to supply thepeople with food.
Cattle-raising was once the principal industry in the interior, but has been almost extinguished by the devastating droughts and increasing aridity caused by the custom of annually burning over the campos to improve the grass.
In tropical countries drought is the commonest cause of a failure in the harvest, and where great droughts are not uncommon - as in parts of India and Australia - the hydraulic engineer comes to the rescue by devising systems of water-storage and irrigation.
The most destructive droughts recorded are those of 1711, 172 3, 1777-1778, 1790, 1825, 1844-1845, and 1877-1878, the last-mentioned destroying nearly all the live-stock in the state, and causing the death through starvation and pestilence of nearly half-a-million people, or over half the population.
The crop is very uncertain owing to droughts; spring frosts and locusts, and, ' in order to avoid a total failure and to allow time for collecting the produce, there are three sowings at intervals from October to March - the crops thus coming to perfection in succession.
The droughts are longer, and the rain, when it falls, especially along the Mediterranean coast, is often concentrated into shorter periods.
After prolonged droughts it still retains more or less the same figure as the surface, but at lower depths and always with less pronounced differences of level.
Freshets and droughts at times work havoc. The former made notable 1844 and 1858; and the latter 1860, 1874 and 1894.
Owing to the absence of rivers, the paucity of springs, and the almost complete deforestation, Antigua is subject to frequent droughts, and although the average rainfall is 45.6 in., the variations from year to year are great.
The long, dry season (April to October), together with occasional devastating droughts (seccas) lasting two or more years, prevents the development of forests and damages the agricultural and pastoral industries of the state.
Their winter quarters are in the lower parts of Leon and Estremadura, La Mancha, and the lowlands of Andalusia, their summer quarters the more mountainous districts to the east and north (Plasencia in the province of Cceres, Avila, Segovia, Cuenca, Valencia), which are not so much affected by the summer droughts of the Peninsula.
In consequence of droughts, ravages of locusts and misgovernment by local governors the province has been much impoverished and hundreds of villages are in ruins and deserted.
In the more southern parts of the island it often reaches a height of 90 ft., and specimens exist considerably above that size; but the young shoots are apt to be injured in severe winters, and the tree on light soils is also hurt by long droughts, so that it usually presents a ragged appearance; though, in the distance, the lofty top and horizontal boughs sometimes stand out in most picturesque relief above the rounded summits of the neighbouring trees.
Irrigation, introduced in 1888 by the orange growers, has been adapted by other farmers, especially the tobacco-growers of Gadsden county, and so the evil effects of the droughts, so common from February to June, are avoided.
The hurricane, too, was followed by repeated droughts, and the inhabitants of the out-islands were reduced to indigence and want, a condition which is still, in some measure, in evidence.
It resembles the Sao Francisco region in its uncertain rainfall and exposure to droughts, and in having large areas of campos suitable for grazing purposes.
In Ceara the smaller rivers become dry channels in the dry season, and in protracted droughts the larger ones disappear also.
A constant supply is maintained generally throughout " Water London," although a suspension between certain hours has been occasionally necessitated, as in 1895 and 1898, when, during summer droughts, the East London supply was so affected.
Similarly secular elevations of temperature, either accompanied by moisture or desiccation, by increasing droughts or by disturbance of the balance of nature, have been followed by great waves of extinction of the Mammalia.
Notwithstanding the frequency of long, destructive droughts, cattle-raising is a preferred industry among the landowners of the northern states, and especially near the American frontier.